KANSAS CITY, MO — One week ago the Missouri Wolverines did not think they would be playing a game of football at a place they call home, their field at Heim’s Electric Park.
“The last time I spoke with you my emotions were on the floor because I did not think any way possible we would be able to have this field,” said coach Jim Tuso, president of the Missouri Wolverines Youth Organization.
Many players and parents feared the season was over before it began.
“This season was, at best, it was up in the air,” said Scott Walter, father of a Missouri Wolverines player.
Last Saturday, the field at Heim’s Electrical Park was vandalized just before 7 p.m after vehicles drove across it, causing severe damage. But the act was all caught on surveillance video.
The vandalism left the Missouri Wolverines concerned about the future of their season.
“The original plan earlier in the week was we were not going to have a place to play," Tuso said. "Obviously, it was an emotional roller coaster."
However, a last-minute change to the game plan led to an overall win for the Missouri Wolverines Youth Organization after Kansas City Parks and Recreation came out earlier this week to assess and restore the field.
“Our staff along with our public works staff went out there to get some irrigation off the field which allows more grass to grow there. They also took a flattener like a mini steam roller to kind of flatten out the field,” said Rosevelt Lyons, interim director of Kansas City Parks and Recreation.
Right now, Kansas City Parks and Recreation says this restoration project will be costly, but they plan to add a protective perimeter around the field to ensure this type of destruction does not happen again.
“I can tell you the fencing we are putting in is somewhere around $50,000 dollars — that’s an unexpected expense we did not plan on paying along with the staff time and what it took to convert that," Lyons said. "Not only our staff but our public works staff and equipment and things like that."
Nonetheless, parents, players and fans are all happy to be back where they belong, and hope vandals do not attempt to strike again.
“I really think we showed we are Wolverine strong — that's something we live by,” said Abbie Sanderson, mom to a Missouri Wolverines player.