Weatherford Democrat

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November 2, 2013

OUTSIDE THE LINES: pee wee football game ends in parents fighting

Local team hires attorney following decision to ban them from post-season

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the name of the local association.

By BRIAN SMITH

It’s not often you find “Outlaws” on the right side of the law.

The Weatherford Outlaws, a youth football team for 7 year olds playing in the first-year Weatherford Pee Wee Football League, is being held out of the Northwest Texas Youth Football Association postseason later this month because of an incident last Monday involving parents from Weatherford and Crowley. The Crowley team has also been banned from post season.

Crowley parents reportedly attacked a Weatherford family because their 8-year-old son plays on the tackle 7U team.

WPFL Vice President Chris Frank said because the Weatherford league is in its first year and to ensure the team had enough players, three 8 year olds were brought onto the team. Frank said it was for this year only, and said the three players, who supplied birth certificates, were approved by the Northwest YFA.

“It was something the board had known about the entire year,” Frank said. “My thought it they had heard enough griping from other parents about what was happening, even though they approved it, and decided not letting the team into the playoffs was a way out.”

The Weatherford team Friday afternoon retained attorney Reed Wainwright to represent them.

"What we're trying to determine from the board is exactly the process used to find the Weatherford players guilty of improper conduct," Wainwright said. "The way the board's own code of conduct and ethics was written, the penalty was too harsh."

Northwest Texas Youth Football Association President John Kracy said Friday that because of the threat of litigation he had no comment in the matter.

Along with Weatherford and Crowley, teams from Granbury, Azle and Burleson take part in the Northwest YFA. Smith and Frank said the issue of the 8-year-old players was a problem all season, with parents making comments, but said it was nothing to the extent of Monday’s incident in Crowley.

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