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Girard police are investigating after two people were seen inside the Girard football stadium late Sunday and damage was discovered to the big “G” sign in the stadium’s northeast corner.
According to a police report, an officer on patrol just before midnight saw two people who looked like teen boys inside the stadium fence. When the pair saw the cruiser, they ran south from the stadium on Highland Avenue toward Parkview Avenue.
The officer said one of the boys was wearing a red hoodie and the other had on a dark shirt and he called for backup to search the area. After seeing the extensive sign damage, the officer climbed over the fence to look for the boys, but he could not find them.
A neighbor on Parkview Avenue told police he saw two people run behind his house. An officer went down a small path leading to the apartment complex across from the pony league field at the bottom of Elruth Court, where two residents said they saw the pair come from behind the apartment complex, get into a vehicle and leave.
The residents said the vehicle was a large, grey, older vehicle with a loud exhaust.
Girard coaches and players were greeted by what was left of their school, and city’s, symbolic “G” at Monday’s practice.
“It makes you mad, especially if it’s somebody from Girard, because it’s your city, this is your field, your stadium. Why would you ever want to do that to your home field?” said Nick Cardiero, Girard senior quarterback.
AJ Construction donated the giant wooden “G” a few years ago as part of the newly upgraded field, track and facilities at Arrowhead Stadium. After practice, players and coaches helped tear the rest of it down, and take it away.
Coaches are also in talks with people to have the G rebuilt and ready to go for Friday night when Girard takes the field at Arrowhead Stadium to face Newton Falls.
“I know the kids were kind of down because that’s a big symbol for Girard, and a lot of people have been driving by and looking at it, and I’ve already got a couple text messages saying, ‘hey, whatever we need to do, let’s get one back up’. That’s how Girard is,” said Nick Cochran, Girard head football coach.
Cochran said they’ve also taken up a collection to offer a reward for anyone who helps police catch the vandals who did this.
Damage to the sign is estimated at $1,000, according to the police report.
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Girard police at 330-545-0211.