STOWE TOWNSHIP, Pa. — As children ages 5 and 6 played little league football at Sto Rox High School over the weekend, two fights broke out. One involved teenage girls and the other unfolded on the field between coaches.
“I was upset. I was upset because that’s not the type of thing we want as part of our image. That’s not what we promote,” said Tonya Payne-Scott, president of the Western PA Youth Athletic Association.
Payne-Scott said adults started getting upset about calls that were being made during the game. That caused an argument that escalated. Lost in all of it was the effect on the kids.
“It’s not their fault. They’re not out there being the ones fighting and causing all of the turmoil but it’s like adults make these decisions and the people who get hurt the most are the kids,” she said.
Payne-Scott said all of the coaches involved in the fight on the field were immediately suspended for the remainder of the year. The organization is hiring more security and is requiring tickets be bought in advance in order to control who is coming in and out of the games.
“We want to try and bridge the gap and make sure the kids are out of the street,” Payne-Scott said.
Payne-Scott is the mother of Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd and knows what it takes to get to the NFL. She said that’s why the group works so hard to offer a positive, uplifting, engaging environment for activities like football, basketball and cheerleading. She told Channel 11 keeping Boyd in youth football helped her son get to the level of professional football.
She said she is not going to let the actions of a few people stop their ultimate goal of reaching and connecting with kids.
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