Thieves rip off team fundraiser: 'Facing adversity and defeating it'

Thieves rip off team fundraiser: 'Facing adversity and defeating it'

EUGENE, Ore. - The Churchill High School wrestling team's weekend scrap metal fundraiser left the group feeling pretty good.

The Lancer athletes painted a promotional sign on the hood of a car.

And Coach Scott Kerney figured they had racked up $3,000 to $4,000 worth of donations.

Then the trouble started.

"There was people jumping in and out of the dumpster, and there was a U-haul truck parked over here, and it was gone," the coach said of the scrap metal collection.

Metal thieves made off with about a quarter of the haul. Kearney stuck around until 2 a.m. Sunday to guard the metal.

"There were 4 engine blocks and a bunch of refrigerators that were gone," he said. "We were pretty low saturday night."

But like a wrestler getting up off the mat, this Churchill fundraiser is far from done.

Coach Kearney and the athletes don't want the good vibe and the school spirit sabotaged by a bunch of thieves, so on Tuesday, it's round 2 of the fundraiser.

"We're just trying to stay positive and it's like just giving us more motivation, more adversity to put us down," wrestler Will Dawson said.

Kearney said his phones have been ringing off the hook with donations coming in to make up for the loss.

Dawson, a state wrestling champ, said this is something the team can rally around.

"I think of it as a step on our ladder to the state tournament," he told KVAL News. "We're just facing adversity and defeating it and working harder."