Texas Pee Wee league bars youth

Updated: August 16, 2012, 11:55 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

A Texas Pee Wee football league has ruled that a 300-pound seventh-grader is too big to play, according to Dallas-Fort Worth television station KDFW Fox 4's website.

Elijah Earnhardt, 12, was informed this past weekend by the Mesquite Pee Wee Football Association that he is not allowed to play in the league, according to the report posted on MyFoxDFW.com.

The league's rule is that any seventh-grader weighing more than 135 pounds is barred and must play in his school's league, according to the report.

But Earnhardt, who is more than 6 feet tall, and his mother, Cindy, told the website that they still are pushing for admission into the league.

"I don't want to play in school right now because it's people that's had experience and I want to get some experience first and then start playing," Elijah Earnhardt told the website. "I just want to play because my teammates are my friends -- I know them. I don't want to go play for somebody else I don't know."

Cindy Earnhardt told MyFoxDFW.com that she plans to protest the league's decision.

"For him to come home and just cry and go to his room and say, 'I give up,' I'm not going to let him give up," she said. "This is his dream. This is what he wants to do. And I'm going to make it happen."

Elijah Earnhardt's coach, Marc Wright, also will protest the decision, according to the report. He cited multiple players within the league who are over the 135-pound limit.

"If they're over 135, they have to wear a symbol on their helmet, which is the X," Wright told the website. "So if they're an X-man they have to play offensive line, defensive line only."

Mesquite Pee Wee Football Association president Ronnie Henderson told the website that he sympathizes with Earnhardt but maintained that they must adhere to the league's rule.

"The coach over there should have known this," Henderson said. "He's been told this. He's been to our meetings. He knows this. I don't know where the misunderstanding was. We hate it. I don't like it for the kid or the parents."