AURORA | The Cherokee Trail baseball team already lost its spring season due to the coronavirus pandemic and vandals made the hurt worse this week.
The program’s clubhouse and concession stand were broken into early Thursday morning and ransacked, leaving head coach Steve Eaton, parents and players in shock.
“Our kids spent their whole career trying to get into that room (to make varsity) and for this to happen, they are just made and hurting,” Eaton told the Sentinel Friday. “Just why? I guess worse things could happen than that, but it’s just sad on top of everything else.”
Eaton, who heard about the break-in from a player who lived near the field, said that video from cameras located at Legacy Stadium nearby show a large light on the back of the concession stand get broken about 4:30 a.m.
The break-in was reported to the Aurora Police Department, which is currently investigating.
Eaton said whoever broke in tried all the entrances to both the clubhouse — which is named for former coach Alan Dyer — as well as the adjoining concession stand, doing what he estimated to be about $20,000 worth of damage in addition to some property theft.
Each and every one of the wooden lockers used by the varsity team in the clubhouse (installed by Dyer) were broken into and trashed and baseballs were thrown through a television and some other monitors used to watch hitting videos. A radar gun and a large amount of new game baseballs — “pearls” — were stolen.
The concession stand saw glass doors on empty refrigerator doors smashed and food and beverages strewn about the floor.
Eaton is asking for anybody who might have information about the break-in to contact APD.
Cherokee Trail wasn’t the only Aurora school to have baseball buildings broken into in recent days.
Eaglecrest’s concession stand was looted according to head coach Tory Humphrey, though its newly-expanded clubhouse wasn’t disturbed. Smoky Hill also had a break-in of its buildings near the baseball field according to athletic director John Thompson.
The damage to Smoky Hill’s property was $3,500 in an estimate given to APD.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports