Rival teams unite for chance to play after brawl

PEARLAND, TX The Pearland Patriots and Hurricanes say they have one goal: to try to save their seasons. But on Wednesday night, they left a league meeting disappointed.

Just off Fite Road in Pearland, there's a battle over a fight. The protests from players are apparently so bothersome to others using Dad's Club Park that the man who runs it asked them to stop. Dozens of parents and players were asking the Bay Area Football League to rescind its punishment for a fight during a football game earlier this month.

On September 18, a parent for the Pearland Patriots recorded a video, in which you see a player running for a touchdown. What you don't see is a scuffle between players. One coach jumped in, then others and quickly a brawl was underway.

One of the most egregious moments was a coach for the Pearland Hurricanes coming up behind a Patriots coach and apparently sucker-punching him in the back of the head.

The coaches involved were suspended for the rest of the season. The Bay Area Football League banned one for life and told both teams they will not be allowed to participate in postseason play.

"Now the kids are being penalized," dad Donald Sonia said. "I think it's so unfair."

Parents were not allowed in Wednesday night's meeting and neither was Eyewitness News. The president of the league's board then came out and briefly and publicly reaffirmed its decision to ban both teams from the playoffs.

"Our decision is final. These are our rules. Thank you," Bay Area Football League President Joe Gonzalez said.

Parents and players call the decision heavy-handed and misguided.

"He's just not man enough to go back and say he made a mistake," parent Esmeralda Baxter said.

"They shouldn't let the kids be punished for something the adults did," said Baxter's son, Chase, who is a player.

"Their minds were made up, and they're not going to reverse their decision," grandmother Yvonne Robinson said. "I thought it was just totally unfair."

Fairness is among what these coaches are trying to teach and the lesson that sometimes life isn't.

Parents are now considering hiring an attorney. The Pearland Police Department is looking at the video to get a better idea of what happened during the brawl. It's considering filing assault charges against at least one of the coaches.
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