Paperwork problems have kept a Pop Warner team in Lynn from playing in the National Championships.
The East Lynn Bulldogs were supposed to go to Orlando, Florida Dec. 3 to compete for the National title after an undefeated football season. Saturday, the team had won the Regional championship over Everett. But a paperwork problem changed everything for the new State Champions.
The coaches said two players’ physicals were not up to date. According to the coaches, the team complied and provided 2022 physicals by end of day, but Pop Warner said it was too late and disqualified the team.
“That is the Super Bowl for kids, so it’s something that is a once in a lifetime experience for kids,” Javier Baez, a father of one of the players, said.
The kids agreed the decision was devastating.
“To get it stripped away it’s like, all your hard work gone to waste, basically,” Limbert Thomas, the starting quarterback for the Bulldogs, said. “My lifetime dream was completed.”
“I thought it was unfair because we won, and no one wants to play the runner up, you’d rather play the number one team,” Jayden Pena, a player on the team, said.
The players, parents, and coaches aren’t the only ones disappointed.
“It’s a bad decision, hopefully there is time to revisit it,” Lynn Mayor Jared Nicholson said. “These leagues should be about the kids.”
“These kids won that competition,” Nicholson continued. “[The team] earned this right and have done everything that’s been asked of them and if given the chance, will continue,” Nicholson said. “We really hope they reconsider this is an opportunity they’ve earned.”