Cuyahoga Falls communty looks for solutions after soccer field is vandalized

Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 8:55 PM EST

CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio (WOIO) - A local soccer club is still searching for answers after the soccer field they use at Waterworks Park was vandalized.

“It’s a hard bullet to take,” William Antunez, who coaches the 8-year-old group for the Cuyahoga Falls Soccer Club, said.

A driver or group of individuals tore through the green space at the park last Sunday night. Cuyahoga Falls Police are still investigating who was responsible.

The area was enough for 10 different soccer fields, which were used by teams between the ages of two and 15. Now, hundreds of kids may not have a place to play this coming spring, unless the club can find alternative sites.

“How do we deliver the message that we cannot play there to start the season?” Antunez asked.

Three days ago, Josh Soudry, the soccer club, posted pictures of the field on Facebook after the vandalism took place. The caption included the line “This hurts...”

“A few days later, it still hurts,” he said in an interview with 19 News Friday.

There is still no timeline for how long the repairs to the field will take, or how much they will cost. Soudry is still in the process of determining the estimate, but he knows it will be expensive: “100,000 dollars, 200,000—I don’t know...It’s going to be a big number.”

But the field is more than just a place to play soccer, it’s also a second home for many of the young players who love the game.

“Some boys are from broken homes, and this is their outlet...This is ‘just come and play soccer,’” Soudry said.

In his own words, Antunez said “It’s like a melting pot.”

While the club continues to determine their next steps, they are still committed to making sure the season kicks off in some way.

“If we can just have a little bit of a positive impact on them, that’s what we’d want to see,” Soudry said.