— By BRIAN SMITH
Members of the Weatherford Pee Wee Football Association have decided to drop efforts to get their Weatherford Outlaws U7 football team into the Northwest Texas Youth Football Association playoffs this Saturday.
The team was banned from the playoffs, along with a Crowley team, after an Oct. 28 altercation involving parents from both teams. WPWFA officials worked with Weatherford attorney Reed Wainwright to work with them on their next move.
WPWFA Vice President Chris Frank said Tuesday morning Wainwright had found while looking at the NWTYFA bylaws that the group had no way of determining punishment in a case of something like this.
“It’s like they were making it up as they went along,” Frank said Tuesday. “We are bound and determined to fight, that’s for sure. We still feel that we didn’t do anything wrong and we want the kids to play.”
Wainwright, however, Wednesday afternoon said he had told Frank he did not recommend filing an injunction to delay the start of the league playoffs, scheduled to begin Saturday. Wainwright said a judge would have to determine whether irreparable harm would be done to the players, in this case mostly 7 year olds in the youth tackle league, for not taking part in the playoffs.
“When you’re dealing with non-profit groups, a lot of them aren’t going to have appeal processes like the UIL or NCAA,” Wainwright said. “You would have to show irreparable harm would be done to them for not taking part to even get an injunction, and I just don’t see that.”
Wainwright said he wished he could have attended a hearing Oct. 30 when the decision to ban the Outlaws from post-season was made.
“It’s unfortunate for the kids,” Wainwright said.
Frank said after talking to Wainwright, it was decided to let the issue drop.
“We still want the kids to play because they earned it, but that would involve taking money away from the kids for their parties and trophies,” Frank said. “The NWTYFA board could still have a change of heart and put us in, but for right now, we’re not seeing it.”
Parents of the Weatherford team said some were verbally and physically attacked at the game in Crowley when coaches and parents of the Crowley team, trailing 14-0 in the third quarter, began accusing the Weatherford team of using players 8 years old. The game was stopped by officials.
Weatherford said they had permission from the association to let three 8-year-old players on the team and said the players participated all season with no problems.