High School Sports

Independence football field vandalized ahead of Friday’s game against Butler

Independence athletic officials arrived at school Thursday morning to find the stadium spray painted with graffiti and the goal post bent. Independence hosts rival Butler Friday
Independence athletic officials arrived at school Thursday morning to find the stadium spray painted with graffiti and the goal post bent. Independence hosts rival Butler Friday

Independence High School athletic officials were greeted with a surprise Thursday morning when they arrived at school.

The Patriots’ football field -- which will host Friday’s Southwestern 4A championship game between Butler and Independence -- had been vandalized. The letters “BHS” in Butler’s school colors - red, black and gray - were in the end zone. One of the Patriots’ goal posts had been bent, and there was graffiti throughout the stadium, including some painted on concrete walkways.

“It’s a rivalry game and I was kind of expecting paint on the field and on the rock (in front of the school). That’s what it’s become,” Patriots athletics director Kelly Lewis said. “But the goal post and the graffiti on the concrete? Not so much. But, hey, it’s Butler-Indy.”

Lewis said he’ll have Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ building services sand blast the graffiti from the concrete. He said he’ll take money from the school’s athletic budget to buy paint to cover other areas that were spray painted.

▪ Independence (7-3, 5-0 Southwestern 4A) has a one-game lead over Butler (8-2, 4-1) heading into Friday’s regular-season finale.

▪ Gates at Independence will open Friday at 5:30 p.m. The school’s parking lot will open at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $6 and none will be sold in advance.

Butler-Independence: The Series

The teams have won 10 state championships between them since 2000. Independence leads the all-time series 16-11

1997: Independence 47-6

1998: Independence 42-28

1999: Butler 45-42

2000: Independence 37-31

2001: Independence 35-7

2002: Independence 27-17

2002: Independence 29-0 (4AA Western regional final)

2003: Independence 44-6

2004: Independence 48-0

2005: Independence 41-31

2005: Independence 22-7 (2nd Round playoff)

2006: Independence 30-24

2006: Independence 40-23 (4AA Western regional final)

2007: Butler 21-20

2007: Independence 20-7 (2nd Round playoff)

2008: Independence 42-31

2008: Independence 49-7 (3rd Round playoff)

2009: Butler 31-24

2009: Butler 38-14 (4AA Western regional final)

2010: Butler 61-6

2011: Butler 38-26

2011: Butler 42-20 (2nd Round playoff)

2012: Butler 33-14

2012: Butler 55-26 (2nd Round playoff)

2013: Butler 43-42

2013: Butler 46-39 (2nd Round playoff)

2014: Independence 34-28

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