The case of the missing lacrosse nets, or are they?

By Lauri Voter - Staff Writer
Stafford - posted Thu., Jul. 28, 2011
Stafford Youth Lacrosse is an independent team available to youth ages 8 to 18. File photo by Wally Robinson.
Stafford Youth Lacrosse is an independent team available to youth ages 8 to 18. File photo by Wally Robinson.

Stafford Youth Lacrosse's first summer season ended before it even began, when the team's nets suddenly and mysteriously disappeared from their location on the playing field at Stafford Middle School.

Sanny Chappell, the organization's vice president, said that on July 10, the players showed up to play the first game of the summer season – or so they thought.

“We had to send kids home on the first day,” said Chappell.

The lacrosse team is an independent team of youth ages 8 to 18 which plays against other independent teams including Enfield, Somers and Monson, Mass. (See uslacrosse.org).

According to Chappell, the team completed its spring season before taking an approximately three-week break.
The players were surprised and disappointed when they found out their summer season was being cut short due to missing equipment. The nets have not been found nor have they been returned, and no one seems to know what happened to them.
“I can understand if someone took them and moved them, but not to [just] take them,” said Chappell.

Chappell said that she did not file a police report, and that she does not understand what could have happened to the property.
She hopes to raise enough money through the group's usual fundraisers – car washes and bake sales - to purchase new nets for the team so that it can continue to play. “We just started. We don't even have uniforms,” she said.
Chappell went to town hall, where she said people were very helpful in providing her with contact information so she could make inquiries.

“I talked to everyone who is in charge of the fields to see if they [the nets] were moved,” said Chappell. “We looked everywhere. Everybody was looking. It's just a step back,” she said.

Chappell asks anyone with information about the nets to e-mail the organization at staffordyouthlacrosse@hotmail.com. She also wants those person(s) who may have taken the nets to know that they can still return them, no questions asked.

“The high school kids were excited to teach the little ones, the newcomers,” said Chappell. “The kids had so much fun playing lacrosse, especially the little ones. We donate our time and let the kids play on Sundays. Now, we can't even have summer lacrosse,” she said.

Al Warren, who is also part of the lacrosse organization, said he is not sure who owns the nets, but he said that the team is part of the Stafford Sports/Recreational Department. He also said that the lacrosse team has experienced yearly problems with the nets. “Every year, for three years, there has been damage to the nets. One year, the nets were burned off. We bought new nets. During the next season, someone threw them over the bank a quarter mile away,” said Warren. “As part of the recreation league, I would think the town would pick up the nets.”

Interestingly, Athletic/Recreation Director Damian Frassinelli said, “The nets were not stolen. Someone gave me information about where the nets are.” He said that if a member of the Stafford Youth Lacrosse would contact him, he could provide that information.

Contact Lauri Voter with comments and story ideas at lvoter@remindernet.com.


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