Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Somehow, Pasco Middle School's 1,700-pound football sled, is missing

DADE CITY — How do you steal a 1,700-pound football sled?

And why would anyone do it?

Those are the questions floating around Pasco Middle School after coaches discovered the steel sled missing from the school track on Tuesday.

Coach Danny Wade said team alumni who remember long drills on the sled also want to know: "Why didn't they steal the thing seven years ago?"

Nicknamed Bessie, the five-person blocking sled was the bane of many a Pasco Pirate offensive lineman.

"The ones that really work with it on a daily basis are like, 'Thank God we don't have to work with it now,' " Wade said.

The sled was stored outside at the school's fenced-in track on 14th Street, which Wade said is shared with nearby Pasco Elementary School and also used by the community.

The sled wasn't secured, mainly because it's so heavy that no one ever thought it would be stolen. It takes about 10 players and coaches to move Bessie around the field.

Wade imagined the sled — easily 15 feet wide — would have had to be carted away on a semitrailer or some other large truck.

"Whoever wanted it, they wanted it real bad," Wade said.

If the sled isn't recovered, a new one will cost about $4,000, meaning the team's hopes of replacing its 8-year-old uniforms are on hold.

The Pirates can go another year without new uniforms, but the sled is an integral part of their daily practice, Wade said.

Wade played football at Pasco Middle School in the 1980s. He isn't sure if Bessie was the same sled that he crashed into then.

The school recently replaced the sled's pads, which dated to 1985.

"There's a lot of memories that go along with (the sled)," Wade said. "There's been a lot of great kids throughout the years who have had contact with that thing."

Bessie was reported missing to the school resource officer. The team has also placed fliers throughout the school asking for anyone with information to come forward.

But it may be too late, Wade said. He thinks Bessie was sold for scrap metal.

"What else are you going to do with a five-man sled?"

Helen Anne Travis can be reached at or (813) 435-7312.

Got a tip?

To help

If you have information about the sled, or would like to donate toward its replacement, call Pasco Middle School at (813) 794-8400.

Somehow, Pasco Middle School's 1,700-pound football sled, is missing 11/18/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 10:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays Tales: The stories behind Corey Dickerson's ascension

    The Heater

    The 25 pounds DH/LF Corey Dickerson lost during the winter through diet and exercise are considered the primary reason for his ascension to one of the American League's most productive hitters, going into the weekend leading in hits, multi-hit games and total bases, and ranked in the top five in average, runs and …

    Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) connects for a sac fly, scores Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) in the fourth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
  2. Gregg Allman of The Allman Brothers Band dies at age 69

    Music & Concerts

    SAVANNAH, Ga. — Music legend Gregg Allman, whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel the Allman Brothers Band to superstardom and spawn Southern rock, died Saturday, a publicist said. He was 69.

    This Oct. 13, 2011 file photo shows Gregg Allman performs at the Americana Music Association awards show in Nashville, Tenn. On Saturday, May 27, 2017, a publicist said the musician, the singer for The Allman Brothers Band, has died. (AP Photo/Joe Howell, File)
  3. Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning, a former senator, dies at 85


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jim Bunning, a former Hall of Fame pitcher who went on to serve in Congress, has died. He was 85.

    In this June 21, 1964 file photo, Jim Bunning of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches a perfect game against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium in New York.  The Phillies beat the Mets, 6-0.  Bunning retired all 27 batters who faced him in the first game of a doubleheader to become the first pitcher in 42 years with a perfect game in regular season play.   (AP Photo/File)
  4. Trump to decide next week whether to quit Paris climate agreement


    TAORMINA, Italy —President Donald Trump declined to endorse the Paris climate accords on Saturday, saying he would decide in the coming days whether the United States would pull out of the 195-nation agreement.

    President Donald Trump, right, arrives to a G7 session with outreach countries in Taormina, Italy, on Saturday. Climate and trade were sticking points at the two-day summit in Taormina, Sicily. (AP Photo/Salvatore Cavalli)
  5. Gregg Allman, iconic Southern rocker from Florida's Allman Brothers Band, dies at 69


    The end can come quickly for those who live fast and live hard, who create worlds with their talent and sometimes come close to throwing them away.