Missouri Wolverines youth football team looking for answers after field vandalized

Missouri Wolverines talk with 41 News after examining damage of vandalized field
Posted at 10:59 PM, Sep 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-06 00:03:39-04

KANSAS CITY, MO — The Missouri Wolverines youth football team wants answers after their field was vandalized yet again, leaving players, parents and coaches heartbroken with nowhere to play or practice.

“It upsets us because we all want to improve ourselves and make it into high school and eventually go to the NFL,” said Matthew Martinez, team captain with the Missouri Wolverines.

The Missouri Wolverines players have dreams, that they now feel are crushed after their field at Heim’s Electrical Park was vandalized Saturday just before 7 p.m. The act was captured on surveillance video, and a nearby neighbor, who did not wish to be identified due to fear of retaliation, called 911.

“Yeah, I called police and I told them, 'Hey, you know there’s cars, they are destructing a field or a park. Not only is it a park, but the Wolverines, their practice unit, all of that.' And so I was the one because I knew the kids would be devastated,” the neighbor said.

President and head coach of the Wolverines Jim Tuso is disappointed in the destruction of the field.

“It was done with malicious intent," Tuso said. "They spent numerous amount of time tearing it up. They were chanting things such as, 'Try and repair the field.'”

Tuso says this is not the first time vehicles have vandalized their field. But Tuso and the former Wolverines who visited the field to see the damage for themselves agree enough is enough.

“Seeing this field the way it is, it's so disappointing because these kids do not deserve this. They work so hard and they put so much effort and time into this, they do not deserve this,” said Elias Contreras, former Missouri Wolverine, starting center at Park Hill South High School.

Tuso says not only are the players sad, but the damage could injure the players, leaving parents concerned.

“Is it going to be a safe place for our kids to practice? You know we have ruts in the field, are they going to twists ankles? Break ankles? Worst case scenario?" said Nick Kruckenberg, father of two Wolverine players.

However, after filing a police report with the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department, the Missouri Wolverines say they just don’t want to see something like this happen again.

“We just need help, and my first question was why? Why would you do this?" said Parker Kassman, tight end, defensive end Missouri Wolverines. "We have done nothing wrong to you guys for you to just come here and vandalize our field.”

Other teammates echoed Kassman's confusion.

“I don’t know why they would do it, we did nothing wrong to them. I don't know," said Keenan Poulsen, wide receiver, defensive back Missouri Wolverines. "We just need somewhere to practice, and they just ruined our practice field and games.”

Anyone with information on who could have caused this damage is asked to call KCPD with tips.