What was this father THINKING? I don’t care HOW good you think your kid might be, how could you ruin the season of a group of dedicated kids like this just to enact revenge on a coach for not submitting to your dictatorial edicts?
The South County Raptors, a scrappy football team made up of 12- to 14-year-old boys from southern Fairfax County, were supposed to meet the Herndon Hornets today in the first round of the county playoffs.
Instead, the Raptors are at home, their season over with no possibility of a championship after a league commissioner fired the head coach and the assistant coach this week. Their offense? They moved the commissioner’s son from defense to offense for the final game of the season last Saturday, an overtime win that put the Raptors in the postseason.
"Scott does not sit out on defense — ever," the commissioner, Dan Hinkle, had warned the head coach, James Owens, in an e-mail sent before the season began about how he should play Hinkle’s son, 12. On defense, the father said, "he goes in and stays in. That includes all practices, scrimmages and games. This entire league exists so he can play defense on the best team in his weight class. . . . He is my son, I own the league, and he plays every snap on defense."
What an arrogant ass. Too bad there isn’t some legal recourse for the parents to take. It may seem petty, but these kids will remember this forever. You don’t bust your behind for an entire season, reach the playoffs, and forget when some adult takes it all away for no reason. Can you imagine the absolute abuse his child will endure because of this even though he had nothing to do with it?
One of the hardest things I’ve faced as a league administrator is also being a coach. Decisions are made by our board all the time that will impact the entire league and thus my teams. Sometimes what you would want for your team is not what is best for the league and separating the two so you can make objective decisions is extremely difficult. But it can be done. Adults who think youth sports are just some springboard to possible future stardom in sports for their kid are delusional at best and should be banned, except that just hurts their kids. Sigh.
Three cheers for the kids for having the maturity to do the right thing. They could have taken the easy way out and gone to the playoffs with replacement coaches but refused to do so – they would only play for their coaches. Good for them, though no 12 year old should be forced to make a decision like that because some adult wants to cop an attitude and be spiteful.
Thanks to JM for sending in the article! I’m a little late in posting it for obvious reasons. The hotel wireless was HORRIBLE. They actually filtered out my site’s IP address and denied access!?!?!
UPDATE: The county wide league setup a bowl game for the kids so they could play again for their fired coaches. Not the same, but nice to see them doing something to offset the pigheadedness of their local league commissioner.