Vandals strike Warren Central baseball field

Published 8:13 am Monday, December 19, 2016

It’ll only cost a couple of hundred dollars to fix the damage vandals did to Warren Central’s baseball field. Catching the people responsible, however, is about more than money coach Conner Douglas said.

Sometime on the night of Dec. 11, vandals entered Warren Central’s Viking Field and painted a statue of a baseball player blue. Nothing was stolen, no other damage was done, and there are few leads as to who the vandals were.

Douglas is hoping the public can offer some clues. He’s offering a $100 reward for information leading to an arrest.

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Anyone with tips is asked to email him at, or to contact the Warren County Sheriff’s Department.

“It’s just a statue, but it’s the principle of the matter. We don’t want this to snowball into something where people start thinking it’s OK to do this,” Douglas said. “I’d like to know who did it, and I want somebody to understand that I’m not going to overlook it. I’m coming out of my own pocket to pay that (reward).”

Douglas said he was doing some maintenance work at Viking Field during the day on Sunday, Dec. 11, and several players came to the facility later that evening to hit in the batting cage. None of them noticed anything out of the ordinary.

That changed when Douglas showed up the following morning.

“The next Monday morning I pulled up and saw that our statue looked like a smurf,” Douglas said.

Since no other damage was done, the vandalism had the feel of a teenage prank. Douglas, however, said he didn’t believe it was a baseball player from a rival school. He said a number of players from not only Warren Central, but also Vicksburg High, St. Aloysius and Porters Chapel Academy regularly use the school’s facilities for after hours workouts. There had never been an incident like this.

“I doubt it was a player on any team in the county. It was probably somebody riding around and they had nothing better to do,” Douglas said. “Ninety-nine percent of the time, they respect our facility. At some point somebody will talk and we’ll hear about it.”

The statue was completely painted, but since that was the only thing vandalized Douglas said the overall damage to the facilities at Viking Field was minor. He estimated it would cost a few hundred dollars to fix the statue, which was a gift from his senior players in the Class of 2014.

“We’ve only tried to put paint stripper on it so far, and it hasn’t budged,” Douglas said. “The next we’re going to do is try to sandblast it. If all else fails, we’ll get somebody with some paint who’s artsy to get to work on it.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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