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Bizarre theft leads to suspension of game and likely elimination of school’s entire JV program

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

There have been plenty of unique reasons for the cancellation of high school sporting events over the years, yet none may be more bizarre than the one that befell Hayward (Calif.) High's football team.

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Hayward's football program will struggle to field a JV team after a bizarre wire theft HaywardHigh.net/football

Hayward's football program will struggle to field a JV team after a bizarre wire theft HaywardHigh.net/footbal …

Instead of playing the program's prior game underneath the lights on Friday night, Hayward faced off against College Park (Calif.) High on Saturday afternoon because of a bizarre postponement brought on by the theft of wiring from the Sunset football stadium's lights and scoreboard. Hayward eventually won the delayed game, 13-7, on Saturday.

There was no clear motivation for the theft outside of the obvious economic incentives: The wiring from inside of major electronic setups, particular wires made of copper, can be sold on the black market for a tidy sum. And the theft was later determined to carry a cost upwards of $3,000 to repair.

[Related: High School QB in critical condition after suffering traumatic brain injury during game]

That apparently pushed thieves to surreptitiously remove all of the wiring from the scoreboard and lights at Sunset Field, where Hayward plays its home games on the site of a now defunct high school. Sunset High is no longer open for operation, but the school's football field remains the only one in Hayward with lights and a scoreboard that can facilitate night football.

According to The Daily Review, the players looking forward to a Friday night game weren't the only victims of the theft, either, with the significant loss of proceeds from expected concession sales expected to serve as a sort of death knell of one of Hayward's junior varsity football programs in the 2014 season. The newspaper reported the school's junior varsity programs have relied almost solely on proceeds from the sales of food and drinks amidst budget shortfalls in the district.

The elimination of the power from the Sunset Field complex severely limited the booster club's ability to sell a variety of food, limiting the offerings to chips and drinks. That, in turn, is expected to curtail the gameday sales budget from $1,500 to around $200, essentially wiping out seven-eighths of the funding for the future junior varsity teams in the process.

"It's unfortunate that somebody would do that to us," Hayward High sports boosters spokesperson Debra Boos told the The Daily Review.

Two teams worth of players and fans probably felt the same way on Friday and Saturday, too.

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