10 Special Needs Boys Need YOUR help to play Pop Warner flag football on Thursday, 12/8/11

Due to a paperwork mix-up at several levels of the Pop Warner Football League, 10 boys, born into a life of facing challenges everyday need YOUR help.

For the past few years the West Orange Challenger team has received and then submitted their paperwork for the team to play during the Pop Warner Super Bowl, which for the past few years has been held on Disney property at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. The team would receive the paperwork a couple of weeks prior to the start of the event.

This year we found out over the weekend that our boys were not allowed to play this year because the paperwork had not been submitted. When our board members spoke to the Mid-Florida Region leaders they were told that it was too late and that we should have known to submit the paperwork months ago.

The Winter Garden Wildcats provide the MAJORITY of all the volunteers that do the “grunt” work during the entire Super Bowl week. This year the Winter Garden Wildcats provided 38 volunteers. How many did the next group provide, MAYBE a dozen, but more than likely less than 10.

Our boys, who have spent their entire life fighting for everything, and for most, that includes their very life while they were still in the womb. We are talking kids that face the challenge of downs, autism, microcephaly, skeletal, mental, genetic, or other physical issues. Life is not a joy ride for these kids.

The Pop Warner Challenger division is set up for these boys so that they can still play football, and yes, it is flag football, but to these boys, it is just like the football they other kids play. They get to hold the ball and run. People cheer. They are happy campers. After the game, they get together for a post race snack, and then see each other at school (several are in the same classroom) and they look forward to practice (twice a week) and the game on the weekend.

Here is the problem, after finding out that there was a paperwork mix-up, our West Orange Wildcats president and directors both tried several avenues in order to get our boys out on the field and play this Thursday.

We have hit a brick wall and possible back office roadblocks with the powers that be, which include Sam Mutz, the “National Football Commissioner for Pop Warner Little Scholars”, who can be contacted via his PUBLISHED email address sammutz@popwarner.com. He has stated that it would be unfair to let our kids play since the paperwork had not been submitted. End of discussion according to him.

Reminding him that the West Orange team provided 38 volunteers for this year’s event, and is always the leader in providing volunteers does not mater to him. He simply sees that the paperwork was not submitted.

For the past few years our team HAS submitted paperwork AFTER receiving it from the head office a couple of weeks prior to the start of the series. Last year the paperwork was submitted the week prior to the start. NO ONE stated that they were submitting it late, so we had no idea that it was late. Last year our team played a team from New York and the kids loved being able to play someone other than themselves.

PLEASE send an email to sammutz@popwarner.com and plead to Sam so that our boys can play on Thursday. He is answering emails, and at this point they do not seem to be simply cut and paste auto replies though he will most likely simply reply back stating that it is too late to do anything, though we know otherwise via several sources, BUT HE IS THE ONLY PERSON THAT CAN LET OUR KIDS PLAY! He will also say that we are on the top of the list to play for next year. That is great, but what about the boys THIS YEAR!

They DO have time to allow our boys to play a simple 30 minute game. It is NOT rocket science.

Repeat after me, let them play! Let Them Play! LET THEM PLAY!


One Response to “10 Special Needs Boys Need YOUR help to play Pop Warner flag football on Thursday, 12/8/11”

  • Melissa says:

    Mark, That STINKS! I say that the 38 volunteers call in sick or take a really long way to ESPN on Thursday.


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