A day later, VHS catches the spray-paint job

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 10, 2003

Vicksburg Warren School District maintenance employee Lawrence McGowan works to remove the numbers 36 and 6 from the doors of Vicksburg High School the morning after the Vicksburg Gators lost to the Warren Central Vikings 35-6.(Melanie Duncan Thortis The Vicksburg Post)

[11/9/03]On Saturday morning, it looked as if Warren Central had played payback with Vicksburg High School.

Not just on the football field the Vikings beat the Gators Friday night, reversing the outcome of a year ago but in the form of spray paint.

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On Friday morning, the Warren Central community found “VHS” spray-painted in Gator green on more than one spot at the Mississippi 27 campus.

On Saturday morning, it was Viking red and blue painted on Vicksburg High’s City Park campus.

Vicksburg Warren School District Superintendent James Price said he had heard Friday night’s activities may have been in retaliation for Thursday night’s.

“I am disheartened that they felt the need to celebrate a victory by destroying property,” Price said.

He said guards had been posted at VHS until all cars belonging to players, band members and others were removed from the parking lots after the game. He said Vicksburg Police then patrolled the area.

“It never dawned on me that with the city police patrolling there, someone could get that close to the building and spend that amount of time there,” Price said. “We thought we had everything covered. The police have been very diligent about patrolling there.”

Grounds-crew workers at Vicksburg High said they found the “WC” in about 10 places, on building exteriors mostly doors and windows when they arrived early Saturday.

On Friday morning, Warren Central found a flagpole and parking lot decorated.

Painted in many of the spots at Vicksburg High were two numbers, 36 and 6, an apparent attempted reminder of the score of Friday night’s crosstown rival game. The actual score was Warren Central 35, Vicksburg 6.

School district painter Max Overstreet said attempts were being made to paint over the graffiti or clean it off. It would have to be sandblasted in some places, he said.

VHS’ “Swamp Gator,” a life-size model alligator painted in the school’s green near its front door, was repainted in red and blue. And buildings across Lee Street, including the new girls’ field house and a ticket booth, were also marked, Overstreet said.

Price said the graffiti cases would be turned over to city and county authorities because the activities occurred “after hours.” Calls to police about the number of patrols overnight Friday were not returned.