Olney youth football teams excluded from playoffs for being too - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Olney youth football teams excluded from playoffs for being too good

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OLNEY, Md. -

The group that oversees a Maryland youth football league is excluding three Olney teams from the playoffs. The reason? The league believes the teams are too good and are being stacked with superior players.

The parents of these teams are angry and say their kids are being penalized for winning.

The Mid-Maryland Youth Football and Cheerleading League organizes football games among teams from Olney, Columbia, Germantown, Bowie, Middle River and other communities.

Many of the games are recorded and posted online.

The young football players are divided up in two ways in an effort to keep teams competitive and keep players safe.

There are different age brackets. For example, eight- to ten-year-olds play in one group and nine- to 11-year-olds play in a different group.

Then, within each age bracket, teams are supposed to be made up by the level of play -- with the bigger, hard-hitting kids playing each other, and smaller, less-experienced kids put together in a different division.

This year, in the toughest division, which is known as the National Division, the Olney team in the 7-9 age group had a record of 1-7. In the Liberty Division, a mid-level division, the team from Olney went undefeated at 7-0.

The Olney team in National Division in the 9-11 age group went winless at 0-8 while the Olney team in the Liberty division of that age group also went 7-0.

Parents from other towns have complained that Olney is stacking the mid-level division with players who belong in the tougher division. The board of directors from the league has agreed and has kept three teams from going into the playoffs.

Markeith Mills, a parent for one of the Olney players, said his son is sad and upset about it.

“I just think that it’s sad, not only for him, but for the other 75 to 80 kids that it’s affecting,” Mills said. “These kids worked hard all year. They practiced, they showed up to games and we won. And I feel we’re being penalized for being successful at what we do best -- playing football.”

There is an appeal meeting being held in Howard County Wednesday night.

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