South Columbus parents in an uproar over team roster - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

South Columbus parents in an uproar over team roster

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Some Columbus children will possibly ride the bench this football season.  This comes after their parents and the Columbus Youth Football League could not come to a compromise.

One player told News Leader 9, the weeks of practicing he and his team did are now a waste of time.

Eddie Williams, 10, explains the last couple of weeks of pre-season conditioning were necessary. "I've been having a lot of fun but when it comes to practicing, we have to stop playing and we have to get together and learn our plays," Eddie said.

It would've been Eddie's first year playing football for the South Columbus Raiders but now he and the other players will have to pick another team.

"We have coaches that have been practicing for over six weeks in extreme heat and they have players that are fully padded and are actually hitting and going to different tournaments, unauthorized," Columbus Youth Football President Julia Crocker said.

According to Crocker, the team practicing before the season gives them an unfair advantage over the other seven teams in the league.

It's a claim team parent, Natarsha Johnson, says is not true.

"No, this 10 year-old team that has been together for the last five years, they don't even have a Peanut Bowl championship, so how could they be more advanced than the other children," Johnson said.

Johnson says for many years the team has gone to pre-season conditioning camps with the approval of Crocker and she doesn't understand why this year they are being penalized for it.

Crocker says she understands the Raider's parent's argument but other teams are complaining as well.  She says although the decision was tough to make, it had to be done.

"We have compromised. We have parents that have already switched and went to other leagues willingly," said Crocker.

However, Johnson says it creates a hardship for some parents.

"Some of these children walk to practice. Their parents now have to look at transportation.  There's just so much that is going into this particular change and it's just not fair.  Our boys don't want to be split up," said Johnson.

"I'm kind of sad because we're not going to be together for that long anymore," Eddie said. 

Crocker says the team will be allowed to play next season.

For now, about 20 children will watch from the stands as their parents decided not to let them play on other teams.

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