Midget Footballers Sidelined After Discovery of Illegal Players - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Midget Footballers Sidelined After Discovery of Illegal Players

Parents of Millville's Holly City Football League are upset after kids are forced to forfeit 5 games



    Young Players Learn Hard Lesson in Honesty, Sportsmanship

    Millville's Holly City Midget Football League is forced to forfeit five games after discovery of "illegal" players. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011)

    Some young football players are learning a lesson in honesty and sportsmanship, the hard way.

    The Holly City Midget Football League was forced to forfeit five games this season, after illegal players were discovered on the roster.

    The Tri-County Midget Football Athletic Commission found out that three Holly City players were dishonest on applications and were not living in Millville. Besides forfeiting games, the Tri-County board ruled that Holly City would no longer be eligible for the playoffs.

    Teresa Spence's son is one of the so-called "illegal" players. She admits she had to leave Millville a month after enrolling him in the football program. 

    "I had a hardship at work and had to switch jobs. I couldn't afford my rent in the Millville district, so I had to move to Vineland...all my babysitters are in Millville and his dad lives in Millville."

    Spence thinks the punishment is too extreme for such young players.

    "They act like he's in the NFL or something. I don't understand," she said.

    Parents of other midget footballers are upset the season has turned out this way, after investing time and money into the league. About 130 football players and cheerleaders between the ages of 6 and 11 are enrolled in the program.

    Giovanni Salas, 10, says the punishment isn't fair and he just wants to play football.

    "I don't think it was right for them to take all those games away from us. It's totally not fair."

    Holly City released this statement to the Tri-County MIdget Football League:

    "We understand that this penalty is a direct result of our organization's failure to prevent the illegal players from participating in our league. We do not blame TCMFL or any other organization within TCMFL for our mistakes. Our sole focus is the finish the season and put the proper procedures in place so that this same problem will never happen again."