Smiles return as Camden Raiders field makes progress

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After some work by city maintenance crews the last couple of days, the loops, turned up grass and pits are now gone.

It was Tuesday night that Action News first reported on the damage someone did to the Camden Raiders football field in the Fairview section.

The culprit drove a pickup truck through the rain swept field cutting wide loops leaving circles of turned up grass and mud. In some places, the truck left deep pits that would make it hazardous for kids to play.

"I don't think it was right what they did to our field because we're here for practice every day," player Ibn Willings said.

"It wasn't right because we have our game right where they messed up our field at," player Latek Pousey said.

But after some work by city maintenance crews the last couple of days, the loops, turned up grass and pits are now gone. The field is completely leveled out.

"It's a blessing that they could be able to fix it this fast. We're still not able to play on it until the seeds grow in there, but it's fixed; it's progress," Coach Robert Kelley said.

So for the time being, the youth football teams continue to practice on the sideline of their football field, but, nevertheless, glad to see their field being fixed.

"The first time I came here when they messed it up, I was angry, but when they fixed it, now we can practice," player Aaron Smith said.

The kids ranging in age from 5 to 14 will still have to play their game on Saturday in Pemberton.

"We won't be able to play here until they give us the go," Coach Kelley said.

The fledgling youth football program which is designed to keep kids off the streets has 80 members split up into four teams.

The players and their coaches are gratified by the public's response and the people who have donated money to the Camden Raiders Youth Sports GoFundMe page. They will now be able to buy much needed equipment.

"There's good people out there that care. You go through a bad situation like this and you see a lot of good people standing up and making sure that you're OK," Coach Kelley said.

Action News has learned that police have pretty good surveillance footage from cameras outside the Malanda Hall Community Center.

The hope is it will lead them to the culprit responsible.
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n.j. newsvandalismCamden
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