ST. JAMES, Mo. — In the central Missouri town of St. James, nearly 150 3rd-6th graders are gearing up for football season, but the program took a hit on Monday, when organizers found the league's gear had been vandalized.
According to Nathaniel Mitchell, one of the league organizers, someone broke into the storage room. "They emptied uniform and gear containers, poured chemicals on, and urinated on, uniforms, helmets, and all other gear. Those individuals also stole most of the shoulder pads and helmets that equip our players. Every mouth guard we had in stock is ruined. Every practice jersey, set of pants, game jersey, and pads have chemicals and urine on them," Mitchell wrote in a post on the GoFundMe Page set up to help replace the equipment.
He said the act could jeopardize the season, as football camp was meant to start this week.
The GoFundMe Page had raised $2,650 of its $15,000 goal as of Thursday afternoon, only a day after the page was created. The league is posting updates about
St. James Police Chief Ron Jones said his department got the call on Monday at 6 p.m., reporting the vandalized equipment. The department is investigating the incident. "We're asking anybody in the public with any information at all to contact the St. James Police Department," Chief Jones said, noting tips can be made anonymously. Anyone with information about the vandalism can call the police department at 573-265-7012 or the 24-hour line, 573-265-3777.
The full post on the GoFundMe Page is below.
Monday was supposed to be a great day for youth football in St. James, MO. with the start of football camp. Instead, youth football board members discovered someone had broken into our storage room. They emptied uniform and gear containers, poured chemicals on, and urinated on, uniforms, helmets, and all other gear. Those individuals also stole most of the shoulder pads and helmets that equip our players. Every mouth guard we had in stock is ruined. Every practice jersey, set of pants, game jersey, and pads have chemicals and urine on them.
Needless to say, football season is right around the corner and this terrible act has jepordized the season for all of our youth teams (grades 3-6).
We will keep everyone updated as best we can. We are asking for the communities help in two areas.
1. If you have any information about the suspects of this act please inform Officer Duncan of the St. James Missouri Police Department.
2. Any donation an individual or business can help us with right now would be wonderful.
Thank you in advance for your support of our towns youth football program which provides a positive learning environment for nearly 150 young men and women each year. You can also keep up-to-date by viewing our Facebook page: St. James Youth Football.
Again, thank you to everyone who has shared our post, offered to help us rebuild and re-equip our players. Thank you to the media outlets that have shared our story. And we thank each and every one of you who share our spirit for supporting these players and this program.