South Florida Youth Football Team Kept Out of Playoffs

Age snafu keeps 11-year-olds out of playoffs

Players and parents of a South Florida youth football team say they're devastated after an error over a teammate's age has them out of the playoffs.

The Miami Extreme Youth Football League has banned the Tamiami Colts from the playoffs after finding out one of the players was older by about two months.

"I think that it shouldn't be happening, like it's a simple mistake we should've just moved on," 11-year-old player Nicholas Watson said. "When I got home and heard, I just dropped to my knees and ran to my room."

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Parents said the error was brought to the league's attention by the Tamiami coaches, who thought they would be punished instead of the players.

"Our coaches did go before the board and stated that they would be punished for or eject themselves from the game. They would accept the suspensions and they rejected that," parent Mely Perez said.

The league commissioners voted one to three against allowing the Colts to play. But the commissioners are made up of other parks who compete against the team, and parents like Perez believe that's a conflict of interest that may have led to the decision.

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"There shouldn't be a commissioner of an individual park as a board member on a league," Perez said.

The parents were forced to break the bad news to their kids, who now have to pay the price for the mistake of the adults.

"These boys are being taught one thing and they're seeing something else," parent Aileen Herrera said. "Right about now, these boys only have one thing in their mind, 'Our coaches were honest, we lost a player, a brother,' because these kids right here, it goes beyond football."

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