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Youth football leagues enjoy good season start

Published 12:01am Saturday, September 14, 2013

Tri-County Youth Football League President Chantz Robertson said the season has gotten off to a great start.

Preseason games highlighted last weekend’s play for area teams with the regular season starting today.

However, the start of the youth football league in Dale County didn’t go as well. Dale County’s youth football league was disbanded from the Tri-County Youth Football Association on Thursday because of a dispute over punishment of one of the team’s coaching staffs, according to the Dothan Eagle.

The disbandment of Dale County’s tinymites, midgets and peewee football programs “may have ripple effects throughout other Wiregrass communities,” the article said.

Not so locally, Robertson said.

“(The league is) fine right now,” Robertson said. “We had two teams drop off our roster this year due to the fact that one team wanted to go to a different league where they allowed older players play.

“The other team had another team form in their area, and didn’t have enough kids to form a team,” he said.

Six teams from Crestview, Fla., Andalusia, Straughn, Opp, Georgiana and Greenville form the tri-county league. There are midget teams for beginners ages 6-8; tinymite teams for players with some experience ages 7-8; termites for players ages 9-10; and peewee for players ages 11-12.

“Every year, we’re looking to add more teams to it,” Robertson said.

The incident that caused the dispute took place prior to one of Dale County’s jamboree games. Peewee coaches swapped jersey numbers of some of the better players with others, according to the Eagle.

The report went on to say that the incident was discovered and brought to the Tri-County Association president, which was then brought to all of the league presidents.

The final decision, after a lengthy meeting process, was made Wednesday night and included suspending all of Dale County’s peewee coaches for one year, the story said.

At practice Thursday night and before a parents meeting, the decision was already made to disband the association.

Robertson said there is a panel made up of presidents from all the leagues that decides on the rules.

“Our motto is to be able to give a great atmosphere for a child that wants to learn how to play football,” he said.

Robertson did say that the league does have rules to keep the situation like Dale County’s from happening.

“It’s not all about winning,” Robertson said. “It’s about giving these children an opportunity to play football. We’ve never had that problem, but I’m not saying we never have had parents expect that problem.”

Robertson said that any team who would like to join the league can contact him at tricofootball@yahoo.com.

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