Too Big? I Think So, But it’s Not a Bad Thing!

I was drafting up a Travel Tip Tuesday post and then came across an article in our local news in which a 12-year old boy who is 6’1″ and almost 300 lbs is being told he cannot play football for his city’s Pee-Wee football team because of his size.  Being the mom of a 13 yr old boy who is almost 6′ and weighs 220 lbs, I have to comment on this. OK, he turns 14 next week but still…..

The boy and his mom are upset because he is not being allowed to play with his friends on the Pee Wee team.  Here is the article from Fox:

MESQUITE, Texas –“There’s a battle off the field in Mesquite over a young football player who has been told he’s too big and cannot play.At 12 years old Elijah Earnheart stands over 6 feet tall and weights almost 300 pounds.

For the past three weeks he’s been practicing with the Mesquite Vikings, a Mesquite Pee Wee Football Association team. But on Sunday at a pre-season weigh-in he was told he’s too big and can’t suit up.

The president of the league said the rule is any seventh grader over 135 pounds is barred and must play in the school league.

Elijah’s size hasn’t prevented him from playing football until now. And he and his mother said he’s not ready to go up against kids with years of playing behind them.

“I don’t want to play in school right now because it’s people that’s had experience and I want to get some experience first and then start playing,” he said. “I just want to play because my teammates are my friends. I know them. I don’t want to go play for somebody else I don’t know.”

Coach Marc Wright is protesting the decision. He said there are a lot of seventh graders over the weight limit and they are being allowed to play.

“If they’re over 135 they have to wear a symbol on their helmet, which is the X. So if they’re an X-man they have to play offensive line, defensive line only,” he said.

Elijah’s mother, Cindy Earnheart, also plans to protest with painted signs and shirts that say, “Let Elijah Play.”

“For him to come home and just cry and go to his room and say, ‘I give up.’ I’m not going to let him give up. This is his dream. This is what he wants to do. And I’m going to make it happen,” she said.

But Mesquite Pee Wee Football Association President Ronnie Henderson said rules are rules. He said several other players were barred Sunday night for the same reason and the X-man exemption Wright referred to only applies to elementary school players.

“The coach over there should have known this. He’s been told this. He’s been to our meetings. He knows this. I don’t know where the misunderstanding was. We hate it. I don’t like it for the kid or the parents,” he said.

Henderson said he would look into the allegations that there are other seventh graders over 135 pounds playing in the league.”

What are your thought on this?  I personally think that the association is right in not allowing children of his size to play in the pee-wee league.  Just like my son, there is nothing pee-wee about him. At their size, they could hurt other kids smaller than them.  However, I do feel bad for the boy that he was allowed to go to practices for the last few weeks and then is being told that he cannot play.  Everyone, including the mom too, should’ve been aware of the rules before it got to this point.  They have to be realistic and know that he could unintentionally hurt other children who are smaller than him.  Anyone who has watched a pee-wee or middle school football game knows that there is a wide variety of sizes and shapes out on the field.
If it were me, I wouldn’t let it discourage my child.  This boy will have unlimited opportunities to be successful at football as he gets older.  Coaches drool over kids his size.  As longs as he does well in school, he will be drowning in college scholarship offers and coaches scooting him for their college teams.  This child’s mom should be encouraging him and letting him know that he has a very bright future in football if that is where his heart is, no matter where he plays right now or who he plays for.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this but please — be mindful.  I was reading some of the comments on the Fox news website and couldn’t believe the amount of stupidity out there.  One person actually said “How can a 12 year old actually be this size?”  Really?  That made me angry.  The person who wrote it probably doesn’t even have kids.
It’s not like we’re feeding our kids growth hormones or even Wheaties for them to be “this size”.  I’m 5’2″  myself but my husband is 6’2″ and his dad’s side bred big boned, large structured people.  It just so happened that our son got his family’s genes and not mine (my daughter got my genes…thank goodness it wasn’t the other way around!). I have to strain my neck just to look up at my 8th grader!
I love that he’s a big, strong kid.  He used to be teased in elementary school for his size but since growing into himself, nobody messes with him now and he is proud of who he is.  The praise and encouragement that he gets from his coaches on the football field also helps to strengthen his self esteem.  He is my big teddy bear because under all that, he’s got a HUGE heart too and that’s all that matters.
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16 thoughts on “Too Big? I Think So, But it’s Not a Bad Thing!

  1. I’m with your argument, he could hurt someone but this should have been pointed out long before it got to the first game, if there are so many kids above the weight grade though why don’t they start a big but young kids league (you’d probably have to work on the name)

    • I think the coach should’ve said something and the mother should’ve known the rules too. When my kids play sports, I read the rules and regulations before the season even starts to make sure ahead of time that there are no issues.

  2. Sorry for the boy, it is hard to be ‘dismissed’ if he is 12-years old. But otherwise I can understand the decision, I think the parents of the other team mates in pee-wee league would be worried about their kids too. IMHO the mom of this boy didn’t do him really a favor if she plans to protest and fight. He is 12, no matter how large he is, or how much he will weight, he is a kid and he has to go to school every day and has to bear bad comments or meanness which could grow because of his moms reaction…. sometimes a school could be like a shark-pool. She wants the best for her boy, but what if in case an other kid gets hurt by him? Would she bear the responsibility?

    • Agreed. I can see that she is acting defensive because it is her kid, I understand that but she needs to be realistic. Sitting down and talking to her son about it and encouraging him to play in school instead will help build his self esteem. When he starts playing middle school and high school football, those coaches will be stumbling all over themselves to have him on their teams! Texas is a football state — there are several schools that would be happy to have him.

  3. ryoko861 says:

    Ok, I’ve been there. My son was tall for his age, too. Pee Wee football is based on weight. You can’t have heavy boys playing football against a kid who weighs in at 90 lbs. This woman has to understand this! I was defensive, too, when I was told my son couldn’t play in the morning games. After waking him up at 7am on Saturdays, dragging my son out of his bed, gearing him up, dragging him off to the field, then finding out he can’t play because he doesn’t make weight is enough to send ANYONE through the roof! We all want our children to feel included, build self esteem and enjoy playing sports. But I agree with the officials, rules are rules. There were kids on the team that were spitting into cups just to make weight! Not eating breakfast! This is the kind of crap they’re putting kids through. I believe that maybe they should make a team up for those kids who don’t make weight. We tried that in our town, but the coach and some of the town’s representatives didn’t really get along, so it was more of a pissing contest than anything. She’s fighting a losing battle. IF, by some chance, her son does get to play and manages to hurt someone, let’s see her fight her way through a lawsuit. And like you said, when he gets into high school, the coaches are going to be drooling after him to be on the team (coaches were doing that with my son-he passed on their offers).

    • I think there is high emotions going on right now and once she sits back and really thinks about it, she will see what is right. My son played soccer for a few years before team sports in middle school — there’s no weight restriction there but I cam assure you he wouldn’t have been allowed to play pee wee football after the age of 10 when he started on this giant growing spree.

  4. ryoko861 says:

    Oh, and those coaches should be reprimanded for allowing over the weight kids to play. If 135 lbs is the weight limit, then that’s the weight limit! I can appreciate the kid wanting experience, but if he goes out there and hurts someone, like breaks an arm or leg, then there’s going to be trouble. They’re (the coaches and officials) going to have take a good hard look at their program.

  5. Good grief! They have all kinds of restrictions for kids being too short or small to play sports or go on rides at theme parks. How about applying a bit of common sense to the other end of the spectrum?

    • Isn’t it amazing how many people lack common sense? Like it is a reclusive treasure that only few can find and make use of. Nothing makes me more irate than dealing with someone who has no common sense. It’s like trying to converse with a brick wall.

  6. I know the coaches would want to have the biggest and strongest kids possible on their teams…but a pee-wee team implies light weight kids. I’m sure none of us would want anyone to get seriously hurt. Of course this could very easily happen if a really big kid is playing who is more than doubled in size of the average kid. If the parents are thinking clearly, I’m sure they will all agree.

    • Right. I feel really bad for him. Would’ve lessened the blow if the coach wouldn’t have let him practice for weeks before telling him he couldn’t play and it also would’ve helped if his mom read the rule book and questioned it. He might be big in size but he’s still only 12.

  7. Dear D,
    This was a very interesting article. I am in agreement that the boy should not be playing. I am sorry that he can’t play with his friends….but here it is: He absolutely COULD hurt other players. My 11- year old boy is a wrestler. He only wrestles with kids in his weight bracket. One day at a wrestling camp, for lack of kids his size, he got matched up with a kid that had 30 pounds on him.
    He got hurt. And I was boiling hot.
    Not the kid’s fault. Coach’s and Wrestling camp’s fault.
    You know?
    🙂
    Love, L
    xoxox

  8. I don’t have kids, so I don’t have a dog in this hunt, but your arguments make sense to me. He shouldn’t be allowed to play, and it should have been made clear up front. He’s certainly not being excluding from playing with his friends at other times, so the implication he’s excluded from his friends doesn’t carry weight with me. Nor does the idea of not wanting to play with the experienced players. Challenge is what makes us grow!

    All that said, we are feeding our kids steroids. They come in most mass-produced beef and chicken. When I compare the sizes of my high school classmates from the 1970s to high school students today… I’m flabbergasted! Kids are huge today!

    Maybe a Good Thing if the aliens ever land… we’ll need beefy warriors! 😉

    • I know…I drove by my son’s football practice this morning after dropping my daughter off and expected to see him as one of the largest kids out there. Nope. ALL of the boys are big…and 13/14 years old at the most. CRAZY. I’d like to blame my son’s size on my husband — there are big people in his family — but I wish I knew then (when he was a baby) what I know now about food crap…I would’ve fed them much better and differently, that’s for sure!

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