Parents and little league football staff work to create a safer environment

WICHITA, Kansas – Parents and coaches filled the city council chambers Wednesday to talk to police about a recent youth football fight that ended in gunfire, and ways to prevent that from happening again.

The meeting was mandatory for the coaches and directors of the youth football teams, and police gave them their expectations on safety, but parents and even some coaches think more needs to be done.

“I want the kids to play, but if it was my child, and I got out of line and got kicked out of the league and my child went with me, that’s my fault,” said coach Quincy Best.

Best said as far as he knows, the child at the center of the fight is still participating.

While city officials would not comment on what is still an open investigation, they say they are doing what they can to prevent another act of violence.

“It’s been strong throughout the years and will continue to be strong,” said league director Mickey Lara. “I think this one isolated incident will pass over and we’ll continue with the tradition of the league.”

Wichita police went over the rules with coaches and team directors and ways to dissolve situations that could lead to violence.

“The league has to put a stance down at some point, and say no matter how good this kid is, if it’s a consistent problem from time to time, and the parents don’t listen, then the door’s not open anywhere,” said Larry Carlson with the WPD.

Some parents and coaches believe there needs to be some penalty to parents who get out of line and cause problems.

“I think the kids probably shouldn’t play if something like this goes down with that particular kid. I think the rules should be set on the parents that the playing time is in jeopardy,” Best said.

“It’s concerning to anybody when something like that happens, but it could have happened anywhere. I mean, it happened at a practice, but it could have happened at any location,” Lara said.

Lara says they will take the feedback from tonight’s meeting and use it toward making youth football safer from those who take it too far.

To view the city’s code of conduct, please click here.

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