HURRICANE, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Between the Hurricane Middle School soccer team and other leagues, the field near West Teays Valley Elementary hosts hundreds of kids to play soccer each week.
Greg Harkins volunteers his time, spending three and a half hours each time making sure the grass is cut — all so the football will spin properly when a player goes to make a pass. or to score a goal.
“I’d say 200 to 300 hundred people go through it during the week,” Harkins said. “I mow the line of scrimmage … I did everything I needed to do and throughout the week and then I prepared it before the games.”
Harkins was helping organize jerseys after his nephew’s freshman season on the Hurricane High School football team. He noticed that the mower and a new weed eater were missing from inside the equipment building.
“You can’t put it in the trunk of the car. I mean, this is a full-size lawn mower with a 48-inch cutting deck,” Harkins said.
He says he had no equipment to load the mower onto a trailer and the garage was locked.
“Because you either had to drive it down the road or load it on a trailer on the back of a truck and we never get it off the field,” Harkins said.
Other leagues still practice on the field and the team budget would fund equipment like a lawn mower. A new or used mower costs thousands of dollars.
Harkins said the grass needs to be cut for the kids to play on the field, so a new or used mower or a lawn care company are options. He said all these options have to come out of the team’s budget.
The tight budget for a high school football team doesn’t allow spending thousands of dollars on a lawn mower.
“Our next step now is to find a new mower. We’re in a position where it’s OK now, but in a few weeks it might not be OK anymore,” Harkins said.
Harkins hopes to get him back, and law enforcement in Hurricane and Putnam County are working to help.
“If you suddenly see that someone has a mower that they didn’t have last week, contact the Hurricane Police,” Harkins said.
The mower has been missing since Oct. 17, according to Harkins.
The mayor of Hurricane is also working to find the mower, sharing a post on social media.
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