Whiteland students suspected as vandals at Center Grove stadium

The stadium at Center Grove High School in Greenwood, Indiana. (WISH Photo)

GREENWOOD, Ind (WISH) — Suspects caused thousands of dollars in damage to Center Grove High School’s newly renovated football stadium.

The suspects are county rivals: four Whiteland Community High School students.

Many are speculating that the students did it in retaliation after a large rock at Whiteland high school was found painted red, they believe by Center Grove students. However, police have not confirmed that. What officials have confirmed is that Center Grove had from $5,000 to $7,000 in damage, they believe, at the hands of their rivals.

A little rivalry is one thing that makes football a ball for fans. The Baseys especially get a kick out of cheering on their grandson. He’s a Center Grove sophomore and plays safety on the junior varsity team.

“Hopefully, if he works hard, he can get up to where maybe he’ll get on the field,” Ron Basey said.

Friday night, fans were especially pumped as Center Grove took on Whiteland.

“We beat them 41-nothing this year; last year, about the same. It’s been about the same every year,” Basey said.

Off the field, community members say the rivalry was taken too far.

“I would consider them to be fun until they get to be something personal like this. Then it’s rather drastic on their part,” said Mark Boynton who lives in the Center Grove district.

According to police, before the game, Center Grove’s stadium, which was renovated last year, was vandalized. It’s since been cleaned up. But the suspects used blue paint on the bleachers, press box and field turf and egged the scoreboard and press box. A Whiteland baseball helmet was found in the middle of the field.

“I think it was very poor sportsmanship,” Sue Basey said.

Her husband, Ron, added, “It’s taking it too far when you go destroying property or messing up like they did.”

Clark-Pleasant said they’d administer appropriate consequences; however, they didn’t specify. Center Grove did not comment on whether or not they wanted to move forward with charges. The community, however, had no shortage of suggestions.

“The amount that it took to pay for it should be paid for by the culprits,” Boynton said.

Sue added, “I think they should be punished, whether taken out of sports or detention after school.”

The Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office said it has not received any reports on the incident to move forward with filing charges.

In a statement each school district had this to say:

Clark-Pleasant Schools:

We are disappointed that four of our Whiteland Community High School students are suspects in the vandalism incident that occurred recently at Center Grove High School. Both Whiteland Community High School and Center Grove High School take great pride in the sportsmanship displayed by our studeznt-athletes and fans both on and off the playing field. It is unfortunate that a few students have chosen to make poor choices. Their actions do not represent the attitudes or culture of both of our school communities.

“Our high school administration is cooperating thoroughly with the Center Grove Police Department. We will administer appropriate consequences to those involved based upon school rules, board policy, and Indiana Code.”

Rich Arkanoff, superintendent of Center Grove Schools:

Both Center Grove High School and Whiteland High School take great pride in the sportsmanship displayed on and off the field by our student-athletes and our fans. It is unfortunate that a few students have chosen to make poor choices. Their actions do not represent the attitudes or culture of both of our school communities,”