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Vandals damage Brownsville football field after renovations

| Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, 8:08 p.m.
Evan R. Sanders | Tribune-Review
Tire marks are still Sept. 9, 2013, after vandals broke in and drove a vehicle on the field, causing significant damage.
Evan R. Sanders | Tribune-Review
Tire marks are still visible at Redstone Field in Republic on Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, after vandals broke in and drove a vehicle on the field, causing significant damage.

Despite their disappointment when learning that Brownsville Area School District's Redstone Field had been damaged, football Coach Von Braddock urged his players to “go forward.”

“We just have to move forward,” Braddock said. “It is what it is.”

A few weeks ago, “somebody broke through our gate with a truck and did donuts on our field,” causing $5,000 in damage, school superintendent Philip Savini said.

Since then, school crews have worked “nonstop” to repair the natural grass field, Savini said. The field, located in Republic, is home to soccer, football and youth football games.

Officials learned of the damage Aug. 31. By Sept. 6, students were able to play a home football game, their second game of the season. Away games for several weeks after that are expected to help the grass seed take root.

“For the next couple of weeks, we'll be off the field. All sports are off the field because ... we're hoping to get it back on track,” Savini said. “Within the next couple of days, we should have something growing.”

The damage occurred after a year in which district officials renovated the 1920s-era athletic complex, one of the region's oldest.

“(We) put a new system in to improve the field and it was in great shape. We repaired and updated bleachers, (installed a) new sound system,” Savini said. “We put some money into it — tried to make the improvements, something that the kids could be proud of.”

Students were frustrated to hear about the damage, Savini said, and they're glad the school plans to take legal action over the damage.

“They knew that we were trying to make it as best as we can for them,” he said. “You could tell they were frustrated.”

Some youth league football games and soccer matches were moved to other locations, Braddock said.

“As soon as we can ... get back to play on it, everybody will be happy,” Braddock said.

Work crews have filled ruts with top soil and the grass is already starting to grow, Braddock said.

“We've been working nonstop,” Savini said. “Our crews, people that we brought in as well as our own maintenance and janitorial people, worked very hard to get it back in shape.”

Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or rskena@tribweb.com.

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