The Licking Valley Red and Watkins Memorial Gold just finished a cut-throat, fifth-grade playoff game. You know, the kind of youth football game that really gets the blood flowing. Tensions are high, but the stakes are even higher. It's win or go home, and in pee wee football, there are no excuses for second place.
Youth sports, just like college and the pros, aren't without a little fire. After the game ended, a scrum broke out between a few players. As all referees are trained to do, one of them pulled the kids apart in an attempt to restore order. Then, with speed that would make Usain Bolt blush, Watkins coach Christopher Deason charged across the field and clobbered the official right in the chest. That's when chaos ensued.
Deason believed the referee struck one of his Watkins players, so he charged like a wild man and hit the official "in the chest with both open hands." The referee told Licking County Sheriff's Office deputies he would not "hit a child, let alone a football player."
After coaches and parents poured onto the field, Deason and a Licking Valley coach got face-to-face.
"[The Licking Valley coach] told [Deason] to settle down and the coach got in his face yelling obscenities and told [the LV coach] he was going to hit him in the (expletive) jaw," the police report obtained by the Newark Advocate reads. "[The LV coach] said they were separated without any punches being thrown."
One distressed onlooker called 9-1-1 and said, "He's seriously trying to fight kids."
According to Chief Deputy Chad Dennis, several hundred people were at the field, as one game was ending and another was about to begin. The police are sorting through several different cell phone videos that captured the incident.
Pee Wee Coach Attacks Ref
After being arrested and spending 24 hours in jail, the 37-year-old youth football coach from Pataskala was released on his own recognizance, then plead not guilty at his video arraignment, according to ABC6 News in Newark, Ohio.
For what it's worth, Licking Valley Red won the game 8-0 and advanced to play in a Licking County League Youth Football semifinal against Newark Catholic at Licking Valley High School.
Ideally, the only postgame videos resulting from that game were a bunch of 12-year-olds eating orange slices and drinking juice boxes because, you know, it's a youth freakin' football game.
This post was originally published on October 17, 2019.
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