TEMPERANCE, Mich. – To a young athlete there are few things more important than playing on home turf in front of mom and dad. But vandals tried to deny them that opportunity at Bedford High School.
Fertilizer was used to kill grass on the school football field. It displayed the image of male genitalia.
It's forced the cancellation of four junior varsity and freshmen games and is threatening the varsity homecoming game next week. That's why these parents are tackling the job themselves.
"They had three away games. Next week is their first home game. It would be really bad if they had to play their first home game somewhere else," said Rob Johnson, a football dad.
Police are seeking warrants against two teens who they say got the idea off an Internet photo and a 50-year-old mother who helped them.
"That's hard to imagine, that anyone would set that kind of example for the kids," said Bedford High School physical education instructor Mike Lampkowski.
Superintendent Mark Kleinhans is less than impressed.
"It's unfortunate that we have to divert funds to take care of this, and not just the dollars but the man power and all of the things that go along with that," he said.
A local landscaper is providing sod. The damage is estimated between $15,000 and $20,000 dollars. The funds will not come out of the classroom. The district hopes insurance will help.
In the short term, it's actually helped morale for the Kicking Mules and team spirit.
"It means a lot. That's why we put the word family out there on the field. They're one big family. It's on the back of their jersey and now it's going to be on the field and they'll come out here next week and do a good job," said Joe Mraveck, another dad.
The superintendent and community wants those responsible prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and they want something else: restitution, so that this community and its kids are thrown for a bigger loss.