HOMEWOOD, Pa. (KDKA) — Thousands of dollars worth of equipment was stolen from a youth football league in Homewood.
A storage container at the Homewood football field used to be full of football equipment, along with some baseball and track and field gear. Mubarik Ismaeli said someone broke in and stole nearly everything.READ MORE: Police Surround Home In Moon Township
“Whoever did this, shame on them,” said the president of Homewood Community Sports and coach for the 9- and 10-year-old level.
Helmets, shoulder pads, baseball gloves and other items were taken. They were worth around $10,000.
“They just ransacked the whole place,” said Ismaeli.
Homewood football has been around for six decades. It’s part of Homewood Community Sports, which is a non-profit organization.
Every year, coaches volunteer and 150 kids ages 5 to 14 play football. They have five levels of football and three of them have no equipment now.
“I just thought, wow, how could you do this to kids? No matter how you feel about someone else or anything, how could you do this to kids?” said James Bradley, a Homewood football coach for 9- and 10-year-old group.READ MORE: Woman Charged In Connection With Shooting Death Of 18-Year-Old North Hills Graduate Ahmir Tuli
The coaches and players are preparing to get back on the field on June 28. Their last season was canceled because of COVID-19.
The coaches would like the equipment to be returned. They’re also asking the community to come through with a Hail Mary.
“A lot of people have been reaching out and willing to support. And that’s what community is about and that is what’s so good about Homewood,” Ismaeli said.
Homewood football doesn’t just provide a location for kids to play football, but it’s also a safe place for them to escape.
“Some of these kids, this is all they have. It gives them chance to express themselves and let out frustrations. Some kids, this is all they have. When I was a kid the football field was home. This hurts,” Bradley said.
Even though they don’t have their equipment, the Homewood Bulldawgs will never punt. The coaches have a GoFundMe page set up. They say any donation will help.MORE NEWS: 19-Year-Old Worker Dies On Neville Island After Falling 50-60 Feet Off Roof
Since they are all volunteers, the coaches didn’t have the funds to store equipment in a storage unit. Now they will have to come up with funds for a storage facility.