HOCKINSON, Wash. -- The seventh and eighth grade Hockinson Hawks of the Clark County Youth Football League are good. So good that nobody wants to play them.
The undefeated Hawks would have played for a division championship over the weekend, but all the other teams in their league forfeited. According to CCYL, none of the other teams wanted to play Hockinson again.
While Hockinson is still the de facto champion of their division, some parents and players are upset with the decision to not have a championship game.
“Everybody was just sad and depressed. We really wanted to play a championship,” said seventh grader Enzo Oliverio, the team's manager. “We wanted to be winners. That feeling gets you bad.”
The Hawks dominated on the gridiron throughout the season, outscoring their opponents 272-34, according to one report.
Some parents argued that the Hockinson team had worked hard all year and deserved to play in a final game.
“When I first saw the message, I said ‘No way, man. There’s no way this isn’t happening.’ The kids have put in a ton of work,” said parent Matt Domingos “Why would you not want to play? You never know who’s going to win. That’s why you play the game.”
CCYL League President Terry Hyde told KGW that a situation like this has never happened in the 35 years he’s been with the league.
“There was no playoff, there was nothing taken away from them, other than their last week opponent choosing not to play the game,” said Hyde, downplaying Hockinson reaction to the decision. “We cannot as a league force a team to play in a game that they feel they’re outmatched and is not beneficial for their kids to participate.”
Hyde added that the decision to not have a championship game was made by the other teams, not by CCYL. He says the league offered to find Hockinson a game with an out-of-league opponent, but Hockinson’s coach declined.
Some parents wondered if ill-will towards Hockinson from the other teams played a role in the decision.
“It’s just disappointing that through politics, hurt feelings, whatever it is, this decision was made to decline to play our team,” said parent Tony Charles. “It’s disheartening to see that.”