Somebody drove a pickup truck through a storage shed belonging to the Woodruff JFL program on Monday.
For some, it may as well have been a drive right through the proud youth football program's heart.
Woodruff had its shining moment on Sunday, when JFL area teams staged their age group Super Bowls.
The Woodruff 9-under, 10-under, 11-under and 14-under teams all won championships. Hours later, two of those four trophies were destroyed in that drive-through shed collision.
Peoria Police have reportedly located the owner of the vehicle that hit the shed, although that owner is said to have not been driving it.
It's unknown if the vehicle owner's insurance will cover damages, or if police will issue tickets or level charges.
It's best not to speculate, although that was already happening in full force on social media this week.
"There were some things posted (on social media) that I kind of took offense to," Peoria High School football head coach Tim Thornton said. "My son played on that 14-under team that won Sunday.
"It's hard to see the damage like this. But the things in that shed, the trophies, all those things are objects and symbols.
"It doesn't touch the achievement these players and coaches and program directors have made. It doesn't change anything. They are still champions.
"This could end up making us even better. The Peoria football community comes together. It's how we handle adversity. We're stronger for it."
Neighbors heard the truck collide with the shed between 10 p.m. Monday and 1 a.m. Tuesday.
Inside the shed, Woodruff's JFL program had its trophies, helmets, refrigerators, all kinds of equipment and keepsakes.
Much of that was destroyed.
"The kids got to touch the Super Bowl trophies on Sunday, so we're thankful for that," Woodruff JFL assistant director Damarvis Dixon said. "We're hoping to get the trophies replaced in time for our end-of-season banquet on Wednesday."
In the aftermath of the crash, former and current JFL players, parents, coaches neighbors all showed up at the shed -- which is located at Von Steuben Middle School behind the Peoria Public Schools Administration Building -- to help with cleanup and to support the program.
"One program, one family, that's our slogan," said Dixon, who is an assistant coach for Peoria High, the last of the original members of Thornton's varsity staff. "It was emotional for us.
"There are players on the Peoria High team who came up through the Woodruff JFL program -- guys like Kaevion Mack, Dionysius Hogan and my son, Damarvis Dixon.
"Tim Thornton and I have been friends since we were in fifth grade, and we played JFL football together when we were 10 or 11.
"The things in that shed belong to the kids, to the program. But even the shed itself has a special meaning to us."
The shed was built decades ago and strikes close to home for Thornton.
"I've got a special attachment to that shed," Thornton said. "My father helped build it."
Dixon echoed that.
"They put the foundation down, and they got a double-wide trailer and brought it in and put it on there," Dixon said. "I played in that program, that shed has always been there and this whole thing touches my heart. It's hard to see something our fathers did look like that."
The tangible things were destroyed. But not the resolve of the people who are part of the program.
If you'd like to help the Woodruff JFL program, there is a GoFundMe page up and running at:
That's all for Cleve In The Eve on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019.
Here's your sports quote of the day:
"First become a winner in life. Then it’s easier to become a winner on the field."
— Tom Landry
Dave Eminian covers the Rivermen and Chiefs for the Journal Star, and writes the Cleve In The Eve sports column for pjstar.com. Reach him at 686-3206 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @icetimecleve.