UPDATE: Youth Football Teams Pull Out of League

By: Jeremy Edwards; Brooks Jarosz Email
By: Jeremy Edwards; Brooks Jarosz Email

UPDATE 5/14/13 @ 1:15 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A youth football controversy that seemed to be settled is flaring back up again.

WSAZ.com first told you a couple of months ago, three teams from Dunbar and Charleston's west side wanted to join the Kanawha Valley Youth Football League. They were told the league had reached capacity and weren't allowed in. After protesting, the teams were finally added.

Now coaches tell WSAZ.com seven teams, including Nitro, Sissonville, The Elk District, Campbells Creek, St. Albans, Poca and Winfield have pulled out and started their own league.

Coaches say they are hoping to have a meeting and work out the issue before the children start practicing at the end of July.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

DUNBAR, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A battle is brewing surrounding several football franchises wanting into the Kanawha Valley Youth Football League.

It's raising questions about fairness in football, as the rules would have to change in order for more football teams to be part of the league. The leagues president tells WSAZ.com it has reached capacity and only 12 football franchises are allowed in the league.

Right now, the Western Generals, the Midwestern Big Blues and the Dunbar Bulldogs are all stuck without any league.

In Dunbar, Bulldog football is a way of life but coaches say they're caught.

"This whole thing is basically about competition," Coach Shawnton Forte said. "It's just sad the teams that are left out -- it's not our fault that we have the most talented kids."

Dunbar coaches tell WSAZ.com if their teams had to dissolve, it would mean more than 100 children without a place to play. However, the league suggests the possibility of playing for one of the other 12 teams in the league.

"I think it's disgraceful because those kids are going to be playing together as they get older," longtime fan Gloria Richmond said.

Dunbar could join another league, but organizers were quick to point out the inconvenience and cost that come along with it. However, if they join another team, it could give unfair advantages to the players.

"You would have basically two teams on one team, and it wouldn't be fair to all the other children who already play there," Forte said. "Plus the parents don't like that."

"It's not about us, it's about the kids," Dunbar coordinator Michael Greenhowe said. "If you bring four or five stars or whatever they say down there, then that's a chance that that kid won't get to play."

The franchise's future is now up for a vote. Each of the 12 franchises in the league have to vote unanimously to accept Dunbar and the other two teams. Since 12 is the maximum number of teams allowed, this will be a vote for expansion.

The meeting is scheduled Tuesday evening at the Kanawha City Recreation Center. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

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