MANCHESTER — On Friday afternoon, the boys and girls basketball teams and cheerleaders from Huntland School in Franklin County were forced to cancel their games against Middle Tennessee Christian School after thousands of dollars worth of items were stolen from their team bus.
The teams had stopped mid-afternoon for a pre-game meal at Logan’s Roadhouse in Manchester, but while players and coaches were unsuspectingly eating, the teams’ bus was broken into and robbed.
Huntland’s players, coaches, cheerleaders, and several parents all arrived at Logan’s Roadhouse in Manchester around 2:30 p.m. for a pre-game meal before heading to Murfreesboro for the 6 p.m. contest. The meal, which lasted just about an hour, according to Lady Hornets head coach Brandon Childers, was just long enough for thieves to get into the bus and a few neighboring cars.
Among the items reported stolen were backpacks, clothing, uniforms, pocketbooks, tablets and coach’s iPads totaling an estimated total of $7,000. Positioned near the front of the bus, where the burglars entered, were the coaches and Lady Hornets’ items, resulting in a larger loss for them.
“The girls’ stuff was up front, so a majority of what they got was the girls’ bags and purses and the coaches’ bags, iPads, stats stuff and stuff like that,” Childers said.
Because of the robbery, many players were left without jerseys or shoes, forcing the coaching staff to cancel the game. Huntland principal William Bishop said on Monday the Manchester Chief of Police Mark Yother and Manchester Mayor Lonnie Norman visited the school.
“They were very sorry this happened in their city and they were going to do everything they could, and that humbled us to know that they cared enough to come and talk to us,” said Bishop
Since the incident, Huntland athletic director Bob Robertson was able to reschedule the district match-up. Huntland will take another stab at traveling to face off against MTCS on Monday, Feb. 2, for a scheduled 6 p.m. tipoff.
Without enough away game jerseys for the entire team, Huntland’s teams will have to wear its home jersey on the road for the time being. The Manchester Police Department is investigating the crime but said they do not have any strong leads at this time. Anyone with information is urged to contact police at (931) 728-2099.
For donations to Huntland School, an account has been set-up for them through Citizens Community Bank in Huntland.
—EVAN HARRIS, Herald-Chronicle Sports Writer; Additional information by Julie Edwards, WKRN