Youth football league gave overly harsh punishment to Medina team over disputed incident

Posted 19 October 2022 at 12:28 pm


Recently the Niagara Orleans Football Association (NOFA) approved the suspension of the Medina JV Broncos for an incident that occurred on Sept. 17 after the Medina v. Akron game. Allegedly a child on the Medina Broncos slapped Akron cheerleaders during the “Good Game” line-up. A game that the Medina Broncos won, 38-0, in their 5-0 season.

What transpired immediately after the incident is nothing short of hysteria; a woman storming the field, threatening children with juvenile detention, children sobbing, adults yelling.

There are many issues to note with this incident. The Akron cheerleaders were first in the line when, usually, they follow the football team; many had their hands behind their backs rather than ready to receive a “high-five.” Akron coaches were not in the line. Medina coaches were in the middle of the line, but saw nothing out of the ordinary. There was no reaction until the conclusion of the line, which happened to be caught on video by an Akron parent.

One thing we do know is three girls had visible marks on their arms. It cannot be confirmed how those marks got there, the intent of the child who may have caused those marks, or what child it may have been.

Akron filed a complaint against Medina. An Akron parent gave a news channel just enough information to make the story grab attention. Social media frenzied on the narrative. NOFA had a decision to make.

NOFA has bylaws that advise how to proceed in situations like this. Specifically, they guide the Chairman to ensure proper investigation and to hear the defense to decide if further action is needed; neither of which happened.

The bylaws further state that as long as an informal agreement can be met, no further action is necessary. Akron and Medina coaches and commissioners discussed and agreed to a one-game forfeit and an apology from Medina. The Chairman, and the Executive Board, agreed with the recommendation, then in quite the plot twist, allowed the Board of Commissioners (representatives of all the leagues) to vote to have Medina JV suspended for the remainder of the season.

All of this happened in 72 hours. This tells us the investigation was sparse.

Over the next three weeks, the Chairman repeatedly gave hope to the Broncos that they would be able to play: advising to send an appeal, and when that was denied, advising to have every parent sign that they agree to behave, which was also denied. All along, the Chairman had power to reverse the decision that he stated he disagreed with.

As you enjoy watching your children compete in the playoffs this weekend please remember the Medina Broncos should be there; it was NOFA who took that away from 26 children who earned their spot in the top 4. All because opportunistic Commissioners were allowed to make a biased, unfounded decision.

Think of the kids who did not commit this act, but punished with the most severe punishment by men who supposedly have their best interests in mind.


Andrea Skowneski, a Bronco mother

Albion, formerly of Medina