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Junior football team members miss weigh-ins, win anyway

November 10, 2009|By BRIDGET DiCOSMO

HAGERSTOWN -- Washington County Junior Football League Inc. President Scott Paddack said Tuesday the Williamsport Vikings participated in a playoff game Monday night despite a court injunction ordering that five players be weighed before game time.

Washington County Circuit Judge Daniel Dwyer issued the temporary restraining order and injunction Monday in response to an injunction request filed against the league the same day by Jonna Vinci, the mother of one of the five players.

The injunction enjoined and restrained the league from placing red stripes on the helmets of the five players should they meet the weight requirements outlined in the league bylaws.

Red-stripe players can punt the football but are not allowed to advance the ball by any other teams, according to the bylaws.

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The conflict stemmed from weigh-ins scheduled Nov. 4 from 6 to 7 p.m. at Martin L. "Marty" Snook Memorial Park in Halfway, the injunction request said.

According to the injunction request, filed on behalf of Vinci by Hagerstown attorney Eric Andrews, coaches of the Williamsport Vikings did not receive an Oct. 31 e-mail notifying them the weigh-ins were scheduled for Nov. 4 from 6 to 7 p.m.

A telephone call was placed to a Vikings coach at 6:50 p.m. on Nov. 4, asking why the five Williamsport players who were required to be weighed in or be "red striped" were not at the park, the court filing said.

When one of the players arrived at the park at 7:11 p.m., he was not allowed to be weighed, the suit said.

According to the league by-laws, players wishing to remain or become ball carriers for the postseason must be reweighed before the playoff game. These weigh-ins are to be scheduled with no exceptions allowed, the by-laws say.

The court filing said the word "exception" was not defined in the by-laws and alleged the league had made other allowances in the past regarding weigh-ins.

Paddack said the coaches chose to "abide by the written rules of the league" Monday. The five players were not weighed in and, as such, were "red striped" and not permitted to be ball carriers, he said.

The Vikings won the game, 12-0, over the Boonsboro Titans.

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