TUSCOLA, Texas - When the Merkel High School Badgers football team left the field after a 14-7 loss to the Jim Ned Indians Friday night, another gut-check came as they entered the locker room.
The Merkel boys discovered their belongings were missing, and an exciting night to end the week ended on a bad note.
"It was frustrating you know, we wanted to win the game first and foremost, and to know we had some stuff stolen on top of it, it's just one of those things where you're having a bad evening and we find out something like that happened. It's unfortunate for the kids that lost stuff," said Merkel Head Coach John Cornelius.
Jim Ned Superintendent Bobby Easterling says it’s procedure for the visiting team to get a key to lock the locker room during the game.
"For whatever reason, we didn't get a key this time and it got overlooked to get the locker room locked," Cornelius said.
For cash-strapped students, $20 goes a long way.
"You don't get very much money for not having a job. You get what you can take and when someone takes it from you, it's not a very good thing," said junior offensive lineman Luke Perry.
Another student had $80 of his birthday money stolen.
"It was taken and you know, he was taking it pretty hard and we had a couple deputies from Taylor County that felt for him and was afraid he wasn't going to get his money back and they met us back here in the parking lot and came up with $80 out of their own pocket to give to him," Cornelius said.
We learned Monday afternoon that all of the stolen money and items have been recovered and are being returned.
According to the Taylor County Sheriff's Office, this is still under investigation.
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