By Jon Watje
Minco police arrested a man for vandalism to the Minco High School football field last week.
Christopher Sipes was taken into custody on Tuesday, Sept. 1 on a Grady County warrant and booked into the Grady County jail.
Police received a vandalism report at the football field on the morning of Saturday, Aug. 22, six days before the Bulldogs were scheduled to kickoff the season on their home field. However, they were forced to play at Watonga as they discovered someone had driven onto the field, tearing it up.
“He broke through the fence around the field and drove onto the football field and another field,” said Minco Police Chief Brian Hau.
Thanks to several eyewitnesses, police were able to identify a suspect in the case and arrested Sipes at City Hall last week.
“We learned that he was under the influence of alcohol when he drove on the field,” Hau said. “We tried to get the District Attorney to file felony charges against him, but all we could get were two misdemeanors for malicious destruction of property.”
The Minco Bulldogs were hoping to play at home on Friday against Dibble, but Dibble expressed that it did not want to play on Minco’s field and the game was eventually moved to a Tuttle.
“Dibble told us they didn’t think the field was playable and we disagreed,” said Minco Superintendent Kevin Sims. “Dibble offered for us to play the game at their place, but we didn’t want to do that. So I called Tuttle and we agreed to play at a neutral site.”
The Minco Bulldogs were scheduled to play their first two games of the season at home, but the vandalism to the field ultimately kept that from happening.
Sims said the school district lost revenue due to the incident.
“We typically make around $4,000 from entry fees and our concession stand from each game,” Sims said. “For the game at Tuttle, we are able to make money from the gate, but we were not able to bring our concession there.”
While the incident has been frustrating to many in Minco, Sims said the team and the district will move forward.
“It is amazing how one individual’s actions can affect so many people in so many ways,” Sims said. “It has been frustrating, but we are resilient and we will move forward.”
Sims said the Bulldogs will play their first home game on Friday, Sept. 18 against Rush Springs.
“I have called Rush Springs and they said they are planning on playing here, so we will be looking forward to that,” he said.