Groveton softball field holds re-opening ceremony after vandalis - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Groveton softball field holds re-opening ceremony after vandalism worth $4K

Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff

A group of Groveton softball players have gotten back to hitting home runs. It's after three teens allegedly vandalized the TriCities Youth Softball Field by doing donuts on the field in their car.  The volunteers found a way to raise money to give the girls their field back. 

The TriCities Youth Softball team hit it out of the park this week. 

"It means everything to them, and it's the only one in the area. There are so many girls that love the game so much," said Belinda Manning, president of the team. 

It was a joy taken from them back in November. 

" I was very upset," said Brandie Saier, a volunteer coach. 

"Seeing them out there, it was absolutely nauseating to see them tear up the field we work so hard to maintain," Manning said. 

These three vandals allegedly went left field and did donuts in the field. They struck out leaving behind a piece of their car that gave up their identities. 

"I was very happy that they caught them, and all three boys admitted it," Manning said. 

"You can't vandalize people's stuff. I mean how would they like it if someone came in their yard and did that? It's not right," Saier said. 

Six months later, with the help of the community, the team raised money through raffles and even gained a slew of sponsors after the vandalism. 

"It took us way back. We were raising the money to make a lot of other improvements to the concessions and to the fields and fencing," Manning said. 

Four thousand dollars went to repairs instead of renovations.  Despite the setback, the team rounded the bases in time for a re-opening ceremony. 

"We had a lot of fun. We had about 500 people here from different towns," Manning said. 

The field has sentimental value because generations have shared the love of softball on this very field.  

"This is it. This is it for the girls," Manning said. 

"I love softball. It's a passion. If I had to pick any sport, this would be it," Saier said. 

Because of that passion, signs reiterate the rules for those tempted to break them.   

"They were just having fun. That's what they told us," Manning said.   

The volunteers said they hope to continue with their original plans to renovate once the suspects begin paying restitution for the damages.

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