MIRAMAR, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida coach has been expelled after a brawl broke out at a peewee football game, resulting in a child getting hurt.
Dressed in white jerseys, the Davie Broncos went into overtime as they faced off against the Miramar Wolverines, Saturday. “The energy level for both teams was very high,” said former Broncos Coach Ron Hardge. “The ball is strong to the left side. As you can see, my kids are just happy because they just made a great play, so everybody’s excited.”
Hardge showed video of the scene before the incident. “That’s me in the orange, the bucket hat,” he said. “I run on the field. You know, I’m excited for my team. I pick this guy up — not saying anything to anyone — you see my kids are all around.”
As the Broncos celebrated, they were unaware that one player was down and that they were on Miramar’s sideline. “That’s my coach talking to one of the players, talking to another coach in the blue, then you see the water, ‘Boom,'” Hardge said.
The video shows water being thrown before a fight broke out. “Peanut got punched in his face, and my friend X got punched in his jaw,” said Broncos player Christian Cramer.
“I actually have a kid that was hospitalized,” Hardge said.
Both teams play for the American Youth Football League.
“The AYFL does not tolerate or condone any such instances that occurred Saturday where we have players, coaches and parents, unfortunately, fighting,” said Joel Greenberg, the Vice President of the AYFL. “The AYFL takes a strong stance against … and as a result of that action, seven people from both Miramar and Davie programs have been expelled.”
Hardge was one of those expelled. However, he said the coaches had no part in the fight. “We never got into it,” he said. “You don’t see coaches throwing blows, you see parents, you see people from the sidelines.”
The AYFL said Hardge was taunting the other team. “I got taken off the field,” he said. “No aggression, no anything. Not throwing punches. We’re walking off. Those people are still following us.”
Davie parents are upset that their coach is being punished. “The whole thing upsets me how the process played out,” said parent Bryan Cramer. “Just to let the man go, as much dedication and time he puts into these kids, I just think it’s upsetting for all 35 – 38 parents on the team.”
Hardge will appeal the decision. The AYFL will ultimately decide what will happen.
Despite Hardge’s expulsion, he attended Thursday’s practice to support his team. “Even though I can’t be on the field with them, I’m still a part of this team,” he said.
The injured child who was sent to the hospital was treated and released. He is expected to be OK.
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