Vandals damage youth ball fields

February 4, 2008 5:37:31 PM PST
Thousands of kids use the Cy-Fair Sports Association fields at the Queenston complex in northwest Harris County. Volunteers have put in years of hard work to give the kids a place to play, but now their future on those fields is in jeopardy, thanks to some destructive vandals.The trail of destruction left behind at the fields looks like it could be from a tornado, but instead, it was done by a person. Now the baseball dreams of thousands of kids are on hold.

A father/son trip to the baseball field turned out nothing like you would expect. Instead of learning the game, five-year-old Carson Cooper got a lesson in unsportsmanlike conduct.

"Just explaining to him that bad people do bad things," said father Curtis Cooper.

Curtis must tell his son that sometimes people find pleasure in being cruel.

Carson said, "My team is all sad."

Overnight, vandals armed with a front-end loader plowed through baseball fields, tore through a dugout and left a trail of destruction.

Facility coordinator Dan Howard told Eyewitness News, "They've torn big holes in the press boxes, taken the Bobcat and torn out all of the fencing."

The extent of the damage leaves Cy-Fair Sports Association President Bleck Null devastated.

"We're here for the youth in the area," he said, "so that they have something to do, to put their time into and be good citizens."

As many as 4,000 children use these fields. The start of the season is just two weeks away. With all of the damage, everything is on hold. Monday night's practices were cancelled. It's an unanticipated season-opening setback for thousands of families.

"I feel like my child has been attacked," explained Curtis. "I guess that's the worst part about it."

Clean up work has already begun. The Cy-Fair Sports Association is managed entirely by volunteers. It played its first games back in 1968. Today, the youth sports organization assists over 10,000 kids every year with seven sports -- baseball, basketball, cheerleading, drill team, football, volleyball and wrestling.

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