Fire set to Clarkston High football field

Associated Press
Clarkston quarterback D.J. Zezula breaks away from Macomb Dakota’s Dimitri Abro during their season opener in Clarkston.

Independence Township — Authorities are working to identify whoever set fire to portions of a synthetic football field at a suburban Detroit high school.

The Oakland County Sheriff's arson unit went to the Clarkston High School field Tuesday to investigate, the Oakland Press reported. Independence Township firefighters were called to the school over the weekend after getting a tip. Athletic equipment and the Wolves' logo in the center of the field were burned.

"I'm not going to blow it out of proportion and make it a big deal," said Austin Egler, a wide receiver and safety on the football team, who was one of the first Clarkston students to see the vandalism Monday afternoon before practice. "I have no clue who did it, but I'm going to use it as fuel for our next game."

Principal Gary Kaul said the vandals used an accelerant, some type of oil or gas mix, to burn two six-foot square areas of the turf and two tackling dummies. He wouldn't estimate damage costs.

"The damage didn't amount to thousands and thousands of dollars … and the field is still usable," he said Tuesday. "However, it could get more expensive if the accelerant isn't able to be washed out or if it's done some kind of damage that we can't see."

Accelerants were used in similar incidents at area businesses two weeks ago, Kaul said. Kettering High School also reported an act of vandalism on its football field at the end of last month.

Fire officials plan to wash the accelerant off of Clarkson's field. The sheriff's department will continue to investigate.