Lynn – The dream of making it to Pop Warner Nationals in Florida came true for East Lynn Pop Warner’s 14 and under team but was taken away less than 24 hours later.
The President of East Lynn Pop Warner told Boston 25 News that he was told about the issue the day after his team beat Everett 14-6.
Duke Wilson said the Pop Warner New England Regional Board flagged a technicality in his books and couldn’t find documents proving two of his players had up-to-date physicals.
He said he scrambled to sort things out as soon as he was told about the issue on Sunday.
That did not change the devastating news – that runner-up Everett would be headed to Nationals instead.
“The next morning, we produced it, and we were told it was too late,” said Wilson. “It doesn’t make no sense. I’ve done this. I’ve sat on the board. I’ve certified people.”
Players and parents told Boston 25 News that they are having a hard time comprehending the decision.
“They made us jump through hoops for the last two days,” said team mom Etoya Vaughn. “It’s not fair, and it’s not right.”
Families who went from celebrating to feeling defeated said they don’t feel the disqualification is fair or justified.
“The one time we get here and we win when it matters, it gets stripped away from us,” said player Aavain Pena. “They’re going to do this to us really?”
The Director of the New England Regional Board has not yet responded to multiple requests for comment from Boston 25 News.
The scholastic coordinator for the Pop Warner Football Conference of Eastern Mass told Boston 25 News on Tuesday afternoon that this has been under investigation since Sunday and isn’t completed.
However, Boston 25 News reached out to the President of Everett Pop Warner Tuesday night who said he’s already been definitively told that his team is going to Nationals.
Brian Diamond said he’s officially made the announcement to players and parents and is starting to make travel arrangements.
Lynn’s mayor and City Council released the following statement to Boston 25 News regarding the situation:
“On behalf of the entire City, we stand behind the East Lynn Pop Warner 14U team, their coaches and their parents. We know how much this sport and the opportunity to represent the City of Lynn on a National Stage means to each player. We are so proud of all they have accomplished and achieved to get to this point. We hope that Eastern Mass Pop Warner and the New England Regional Pop Warner League representatives will do the right thing and allow these young players to proceed to play in Florida as they have earned.”
Mayor Jared C. Nicholson
Council President Jay Walsh
Council Vice President Buzzy Barton
Councilor At Large Brian LaPiere
Councilor At Large Brian Field
Councilor Fred Hogan, Ward 6
Councilor Constantino “Coco” Alinsug, Ward 3
Councilor Dianna Chakoutis, Ward 5
Councilor Wayne Lozzi, Ward 1
Councilor Rich Colucci, Ward 4
Councilor Rick Starbard, Ward 2
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