A fire that destroyed all the football and track gear housed inside an equipment shed at Wyandanch High School is being investigated as a possible arson, Suffolk police said.
Police say the fire was discovered at 7:50 a.m. Thursday in the large cement shed behind the bleachers. The shed, which still stands but since has been barred shut, has large scorch marks trailing through the doors and window.
Wyandanch athletic director Thomas Williams referred all questions to superintendent Mary Jones, who did not return a call for comment.
"We can't imagine why anyone would intentionally do something like this," school spokesman Nathan Jackson said. "But if it is determined to be arson, we hope they catch whoever is responsible."
Jackson said items lost in the fire include footballs, kickoff tees, practice dummies, pylons, sideline markers, yard and down markers and an equipment wagon. The track team lost batons, landing pads and assorted practice equipment, he said.
Former football coach Ed Gay, who is a teacher at the school, said that for a district without much money to spare, the losses are substantial.
"When the athletic director first showed me a picture of the fire, I was like, 'Oh my God, what is that?' " Gay said. "Everything inside was completely torched . . . I'm just glad no one was hurt."
This is the latest in a string of incidents involving Wyandanch High School. Last week, a West Babylon man was arrested and charged in the stabbing of two teens behind the bleachers after the Warriors' homecoming game. Days earlier, two football players were suspended amid allegations of "bullying pranks" in the locker room and while walking home from school. Three more were suspended before homecoming in conjunction with the bullying probe.