- Associated Press - Sunday, November 23, 2014

VANCLEAVE, Miss. (AP) - Two teams of five- and six-year-old football players had to sit out a Mississippi Gulf Coast championship because some players’ fathers brawled during the teams’ playoff game.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Youth Football League held championships Saturday in Vancleave.

Two “mini division” teams from the city of St. Martin were banned after up to four men fought in the parking lot during the teams’ playoff game Tuesday night, officials said.

Two of the men already had been banned from games and practices for a regular-season incident involving racial slurs, St. Martin Youth Football Association board member Jimmy Williams and coach Ezell Johnson Jr. told The Mississippi Press (https://bit.ly/1uYNf8b).

Both teams would have played Saturday: Ezell’s team, which won Tuesday, in the championship, and the other in a consolation game, Williams said.

“At some point, you have to say enough is enough,” he said. “You can’t have 5-, 6-year-old kids seeing that kind of behavior. That’s not the kind of league we want to be.”

Parents were told any fights would disqualify the teams, parent Jeremy Harlan told WLOX-TV (https://bit.ly/1xI1Abj ).

“I broke up a few fights this season from parents, and it’s pretty sad,” he said.

Williams said the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department was called to the Vancleave field to stop Tuesday’s fight, but it reignited after deputies left.


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