Chelsea Pride Doesn’t Have Anything To Hide

Posted: August 26, 2012 in family, news, sports
Tags: , , , , , ,

Another week has come & gone and Chelsea Pride Football & Cheer is still standing tall.

Chelsea Pride Football & Cheer being suspended from the youth league they had called home since being established 4 yrs ago has touched many people. Some people involved, many Chelsea Natives, have invested their blood, sweat & tears into building this youth program.

There’s no questions in the short 4 yrs Pride has been involved in The NEC it’s had some troubles. You have to also
understand that in this short few yrs there’s been 3 presidents. Last president became president pretty much by default. Latest was voted in a week ago Some might say Chelsea Pride had a great man step up and carry an entire league thru an incredible season last yr. Me being one. He did a heck of a job. I can only imagine how he did it, working 2 full time jobs running a league of close to 200 kids and being a hell of a daddy to his children.

From what I’ve heard the first president did alotta wrong all over the place, not paying vendors, rule violations, etc. As far as I know the guy who was Pride’s first president pretty much high tailed it outta there when the stuff hit the fan.

The reason Chelsea Pride got the death penalty was last yr a young man played who shouldn’t have been on The Gladiators Team. Gladiators are the older guys, made up of 7th & 8th graders with a maximum age of 14 when the season starts. I’m not 100% the exact cutoff date.

A league official of another “non profit” football organization in the same community someway somehow had knowledge that a player on The Gladiators was to old to play. This same person sent a pretty detailed email requesting an investigation.

I guess what many have a problem with is how the request was gone about. If you read this email I’m sure you’d understand. In my opinion it was done in a very cunning and spiteful manner. It was very misleading, there was out right misinformation given that would make most shake their heads in disgust. Lastly her closing was “this is truly a bitter sweet email for me to send”

Was somebody bitter? What was sweet?

If you pay attention to the opening of her email it says if this information is found to be true. Well the most alarming claim was proven untrue. One of her claims or requests for an investigation is into serious injury.

” this came to my attention after learning that many players were hurt during the 2011 season after impact from ======== players that required medical attention during games or were unable to finish the season.”

Actual quote from her email. The part with === is actually blacked out in my copy.

She is stating that because of this player playing for Chelsea Pride, players on opposing teams were injured some unable to finish the season.

Funny thing is Gladiators have maybe the best youth football coach out there, he has all his games videotaped. He has them all archived, could probably have a certain goal line situation from Charlestown game last yr playing within 30 seconds if he’s in his film room.

So when this claim was made some took a look back on film, some football minds just had to rewind the mental film to remember. Say maybe the Charlestown game….hmmmm

The one that a Charlestown player got injured. His injury had nothing to do with a player being to big or old. It was a hit delivered by a then 13 yr old 7th grader playing his heart out for his TEAM, Chelsea Pride Gladiators

In the request for an investigation she identified herself multiple times, only as a “parent and an invested community member”

Never leading on that she was pop warner president, acting as if she wasn’t sure what a first down was.

The major concern was that this kid was hurting others because he was to big and to old. That has been proven false.

Let me describe some more of this…

This young man was 14 yrs old at the start of last season, NEC rules 14 yrs old is final yr of play. I’m not sure the exact months & dates that the cut off is. I know 8th grade is also last yr of eligibility.

The player in question was roughly 125-135lbs, not a very big kid. I have a son 14 who’s taller then me and many would say a much better build. I’d say he’s 215 and he’s a solid 215.

As I look around these kids all over the place are growing bigger and bigger.

So the investigation was requested, NECYFL did their own private investigation and came to their conclusion. They handed down an extremely harsh penalty, this season which kickoff was just 2 wks away at that point was now canceled. NECYFL also decided that Chelsea Pride was banned for life, no more league anything. The Death Penalty

NECYFL maybe decided hey these guys have been around for 3yrs and we’ve had more then one problem. I don’t know I’m not on NECYFL’s board of members. I’m not even sure that the decision being made, probably on impulse, was thought all the way thru. I’m not sure the entire situation & story was investigated to its fullest.

I question that because we are talking about a pretty small independent youth league that doesn’t follow up on player injuries that occur during games and seems to be able to dictate how things go. There’s many more flaws in the program, but that’s all programs. There’s no perfect system, nice dream but ain’t there.

The main goal is a good healthy productive youth program.

NECYFL has a rule book and set guidelines in place that are to be followed, and they also get updated from time to time when flaws are exposed.

I think all agree that there’s got to be a penalty for the violation of last season.
NECYFL has a penalty in place for this exact infraction. Which indicates it has happened before somewhere at sometime.

The president is to step down and there is also a $500 fine to be paid to the league. I wonder what exactly that $500 fine would go to, maybe a youth concussion program or some kind of injury follow up program.

The president stepped down and the required cash fine should have been paid.

The 4 Chelsea Pride Football teams and Cheer Squads should be playing out this season.

The other teams of NEC shouldn’t have had to redo their entire season schedule while Pride was forced to cancel theirs.

I’m not sure if there is a real explanation that would make the penalty handed down sound worthy.

Maybe if Sandusky was involved, but it wasn’t anything to that degree. The violation or violations weren’t worthy of having an entire season canceled for 200+ kids and have several communities rearrange their season schedule & miss out on at least 2 regular season games that they were counting on.

There’s rule bending & paper fudges all over the place. I’d like to hear somebody tell me they have been involved in a youth sports program where some rule or rules weren’t overlooked at some point in time.

I can remember a few times just from playing little league baseball in Amesbury or while playing my very 1st yr of youth football in Amesbury MA. I also remember it only costing $1 yes a buck. A man Pudgie who was born and raised in Amesbury funded it all. We used to go to his house where he had the football uniforms and get fitted.

I never once got the impression that cheating was the right thing to do. I learned that sometimes its ok to let things slide.

No harm no follow type attitude I guess you could say. Kinda like letting a kid play football with his peers, the same kids he was going to class with in the 8th grade.

I could go on & on, people hold their kids back because of cut off ages all over the place.

Here’s a real kicker

NECYFL made a rule change this year, starting the 2012 season. It changed its cutoff date.

The player in question that was 14yrs old and in the 8th grade when last season started would be able to play this season. If that ain’t some smelly BS.

I guess the silver lining on this is that a community of all types are pulling together, shoulder to shoulder and standing tall with Pride.

Coach Rob has been working around the clock and has some surrounding towns/cities that said yeah maybe we will play you guys.

Why wouldn’t you wanna play football???

He’s got places showing interest in accepting these dedicated, hard working kids.

Needham has decided that they will jump at the offer to suit up and play. Thats happening this coming Tuesday. The game will be played in Needham.

Some leagues and teams want to come down and pretty much scout Chelsea Pride then make a decision.

Melrose is another town that already said yes let’s play.

Why wouldn’t you wanna play an extra game. The more football these kids play the better.

Some kids who set out this year to play contact football may end up not playing at all, some may end up playing flag football.

Some good things have happened for the cheer leading teams. They are All-Stars. They will be entering more competitions than NECYFL had to offer. Some squads have been combined which has its pros & cons.

My main reason for writing my 1st blog was to do all I could to share that all these kids were being shut out.

I know that this subject has climbed onto talk radio shows, I waited 1 1/2 hrs on 98.5 today. Listened to Cherington’s conference about the mega-trade of Gonzo Beckett Punto & Crawford, then listened to 45 minutes of RedSox talk to get 20 seconds to let people know Chelsea Pride needs help playing games. It’s been written about by reporters and printed on front pages of newspapers. Channel 4 News came down and did a story.

There has been lots of publicity and I’m not sure anyone who was involved in handing down the death penalty to Chelsea Pride thought it would become the story it is.

I don’t think anyone who thought asking the league to investigate instead of addressing Chelsea Pride about the known violation knew this would happen.

Another interesting point is when this investigation was requested much of the bad information reported was coming from a source who was part of the original regime of the first 2 yrs of Chelsea Pride. The same guy who was once part of Pride. Who was known to punish players to the point of injury on at least one occasion. He would make statements like I’ll take pop warner down, soon found himself running to pop warner. The other thing that changed is he started making claims he would single handily take Chelsea Pride down.

Once that was discovered he was no longer welcome to be coaching in Chelsea pop warner, he was also involved in high school football where he’s since been asked to leave, they didn’t want that black cloud he carried.

A volunteer told by 2 organizations your not welcome, within days of each other and a yr after being run out of Pride, WOW…

There’s been many that have trashed the former president of Chelsea Pride for letting this kid play. Sometimes we as humans do the wrong thing for the right reason, I truly believe that. I’ve done it and I’ve seen countless others do it.

Many made it sound like Pride brought in some superstar giant who was 5 yrs older then the rest of the guys. The Gladiators went 8-2 last knocked out of the first round of playoffs. Had a squad of roughly 30 players. He wasn’t needed for on the field, we was needed to be kept out of trouble.

Many say why didn’t he play where he should of? Chelsea doesn’t have a JV team, and he wouldn’t have been in the proper grade to play if they did. He was to young.

It’s final the season is canceled for Chelsea Pride as far as playing NEC games. That doesn’t mean the whole season needs to be a wash.

If people wanna ask what type of program is being run over there in the streets of Chelsea. Come down and check it out. This is what I see..

It’s a growing youth program that has seen its numbers increase each yr it’s been available for kids to play. It’s a program filled with more heart & dedication then most have seen or have on their best day.

Parents are still bringing their kids down to sign up, knowing the possibility of no games being played this year.

There’s roughly 200 kids that were told this season has been canceled and they still show up for practice, even on those days it’s so hot & humid, you make excuses not to leave the air condition, they’re out there getting ready to play football, finally in pads and making contact.

If a thorough investigation has been done into the claim of injuries due to this player being on the field lets see the finding. Let’s see when the follow up to the injury started. I don’t gamble but I’d put my money on NECYFL coming up short there.

Pride admitted it was wrong, a player who would be eligible on the same team this yr under the rule change played last yr, when he wasn’t eligible. Missing the cutoff by less then 60 days.

We need more teams to take advantage of playing some great football, we need more cities and towns to follow the lead of Needham & Melrose.

Chelsea Pride has a Facebook page and a website to contact for scheduling games, practices or scrimmages.

I’ll be more then happy to let you know practice times come take a peak at some really special kids. It’s addicting I’ll warn you now.

I can be reached here or via twitter @bobbyblanco1

Don’t get it twisted the main goal is to see these young men & women learn much more then a sport or cheer. That’s all that is wanted if you wanna help out you got the tools.

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CBS Channel 4 News Report

Sunday Boston Globe Story

Chelsea Record NewsPaper Article

Petition Link To Support Chelsea Pride and Youth Sports Everywhere

Chelsea Pride Youth Football & CheerLeading Facebook

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