Oceanside softball dugout burned in Father's Day blazeCause determined to be arson, two juveniles arrested
Thomaston — The Oceanside High School varsity softball team's season ended June 12, but no one was talking about that Sunday night after the team's home dugout next to Sam Pendleton Field beside Oceanside West, the former Georges Valley High School, was burned.
The fire was called in just before 5 p.m. Sunday night, June 15 and was “heavily involved on arrival,” said Thomaston Assistant Fire Chief Jamie Leo.
Two teens, a 15-year-old and a 13-year old, were charged with arson Sunday night, according to Sgt. Joel Davis of the Maine Fire Marshal's Office. The boys have a date in court and were released back to their parents, Davis said.
Leo said the first team arrived on the scene three minutes after the fire was called in.
The building is a total loss. No one was injured in the fire.
Two engines, an ambulance and “a dozen or so people” responded to the call, Leo said.
There was a youth tournament slated to begin at 6 p.m at the Thomaston Little League field about 200 yards away on the day of the fire.
The dugout was home to dozens of teams throughout the years, most notably three recent high school state softball championship teams.
Oceanside won the state Class B championship in 2013, while Georges Valley won state Class C titles in 2007 and 2008. Those Mariner and Buccaneer squads called that dugout home for much of those championship journeys.
The loss of the dugout also means a change for youngsters who still had planned to use the field.
The Busline League middle school softball championship game, which will pit the Oceanside seventh- and eighth-graders against one another, was slated to be played on the varsity softball field on Tuesday, June 17.
However, due to the loss of the dugout, that game has been moved to nearby Thomaston Grammar School. The game will begin at 4 p.m.
“As a former GVHS softball player and current Oceanside coach I am heartbroken and devastated,” said Rachel Campbell, a Mariner assistant varsity coach this season. “Many memories and friendships were made in that dugout throughout the years. It was built back when Oceanside West was still Georges Valley so this dugout had history and I think it was something that us GVHS alumni could share and hang on to for memories.”
Campbell, a teacher at Rockland District Middle School, said rumors are circulating the culprits are two Oceanside students, but added that “the local authorities are taking care of it all.”
"Personally, I know us coaches, former players, current players and the community take a lot of pride in our schools whether it's Oceanside, Rockland District High School or Georges Valley High School and this is something that truly has hurt a lot of us," she said.
Campbell said Oceanside varsity coach Rusty Worcester already has plans to rebuild the dugout.
Attempts to reach Worcester, athletic director Jim Leonard and Thomaston police chief Kevin Haj were unsuccessful.