CAMDEN, New Jersey – Some families of local footballers say they are being unfairly targeted. Camden High School is banned from the playoffs, due to a brawl last weekend. But, players and parents alike say it’s not fair.
Parents of Camden High School football players shared a video of a meeting with coaches and administrators, fighting to ensure their children get fair treatment and an opportunity to go to the playoffs.
“I feel like Camden is still the one city that is being exemplified,” said parent Derenda Bittingham.
Football families learn the New Jersey The Interscholastic Athletic Association has ruled the Camen High School football team disqualified from the playoffs after a brawl broke out on the field on Saturday in a game against Pleasantville and members of both teams were expelled. The association issued a press release explaining:
“Any varsity team accumulating at least three player or coach disqualifications, prior to the start of a tournament, such as Camden, will not be eligible to participate in that tournament.”
“We are blamed for the initiators when we were doing nothing but playing the right ball,” said parent Jazzmine Boyd.
Senior and away linebacker Nyair Graham went on to say: “It broke our hearts because, for example, football is all we have. We’ve been playing this since we were five.”
The Camden School District superintendent said he would work with the state athletic association to “ensure that all shares are distributed to everyone involved in a fair and equitable manner.”
“I’m hurt because these are the chances of our baby getting out of here,” Jazzmine added.
Young men say football has taken them off the streets.
“A lot of us use football to escape the real world,” said Adrian Woloshin, senior tackle and attacker.
The playoffs are a time when many players hope to be spotted by college recruiters and further their dreams.
“We want the community to stand up for them. We want people who know the character of children, who speak out and defend their interests,” added Derenda. “They are the nicest, sweetest children.”
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