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Don’t supersize me: 12-year-old boy too big to play football, says league

Aug 14, 2012, 1:12 PM EDT


More football news from Texas — this time from the community of Mesquite, located about 12 miles east of Dallas. That’s where 12-year-old Elijah Earnheart was told during a league weigh-in that he was too big to play for the Mesquite Vikings, a Pee Wee Football Association league for youngsters ages 4 to 12.

Wait, I thought they did everything bigger in Texas? Apparently not.

Earnhart is 6-foot-1 and weighs about 290 pounds, which is way over the limit of 135 pounds set by the league.

For the past three weeks he’s been practicing with the Mesquite Vikings, a Mesquite Pee Wee Football Association team. But on Sunday at a pre-season weigh-in he was told he’s too big and can’t suit up.

The president of the league said the rule is any seventh grader over 135 pounds is barred and must play in the school league.

Video here.

Elijah’s size hasn’t prevented him from playing football until now. And he and his mother said he’s not ready to go up against kids with years of playing behind them.

Elijah’s mother, Cindy Earnheart, also plans to protest with painted signs and shirts that say, “Let Elijah Play.”

“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. This is his dream. This is what he wants to do. And I’m going to make it happen,” she said.

Odds that Nick Saban knew about this story before we did: Even. Odds that Mike Leach has a recruiting letter in his shirt pocket addressed to Earnheart at this moment: 2-1.

  1. seahawks55 - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    That’s just unsafe.

  2. BratLee - Aug 15, 2012 at 8:25 AM

    This is not news. Many youth football leagues have weight restrictions. Looks like some mother just wants some publicity.

  3. florida727 - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    Sure, let him play, and his team will win every game… by forfeit. I agree with both previous posts, it’s unsafe for the other kids, and now mom wants her 15 minutes of fame. How about putting your kid on a diet? I don’t know too many grown, developed MEN that weigh 290 that are “only” 6′ 1″.

  4. fastspecv - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    I know how he feels. My first year of football was my the last year of eligibility for me because I started football in the 7th grade. I was just hitting puberty at the time and with each weigh in for Pop Warner I would gain a few pounds but luckily enough for me my coach was the head of the league so magically with each weigh in the max weight got bumped up to what I was weighing in at lol

    • florida727 - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:22 AM

      And apparently you’re proud of this? Let me help you. it’s called C-H-E-A-T-I-N-G. Your “coach” is a dirtbag too. Had another kid been hurt by you, he’d have been sued. And he’d have lost. For what? Winning a freaking Pop Warner game? What an idiot.

      • fastspecv - Aug 17, 2012 at 7:03 AM

        What’s the difference if I stayed in Pop Warner or signed up for 7th grade football where there were no weight restrictions? Still the same game last time I checked. Also my coach was aware of this and limited me to playing offensive and defensive line as well as punter/kicker. In our first game though he had me at running back and I had a 86 yard TD run on our first play of the season. After I got back to the sideline coach said “That’s it for you” and placed restrictions on where I could play. But if you want to fix this issue then lower the age limit by a year.

  5. napoleonblownapart6887 - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    I feel for the kid not being able to play but its absolutely a safety issue. There are NFL players his size, and what’s even more dangerous is that he doesn’t know how to control his body – he hasn’t had the instruction on how to block and tackle. He could toss those kids around like rag dolls.

    It’s not all sad though, I imagine Les Miles, Mack Brown, Lane Kiffin and Co. all have this kid on their radar. Could be 6’6″ 330 by the time he’s a freshman.

  6. dowhatifeellike - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    12 years old… 6′ 1″… 290lbs. Morbidly obese by any standard. Has to be over 50% body fat. No middle school kid is going to have the musculature to pull that off.

    I’m 27, 6′ 2″, and reasonably fit for a keyboard jockey who drinks beer. I’m at 18% body fat and this kid still has 115lbs. on me.

    Kid needs to put down the ding dongs and get his thyroid checked.

  7. fmlizard - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Just go play in the school league. The league and the school league which usually starts in 7th grade probably have some overlap. The league is 4?!-12…you just can’t have him playing against kids that young.

    • badams71 - Aug 16, 2012 at 12:06 AM

      Not to disagree with your point, but I think out should be pointed out that the league obviously doesn’t have 4 year olds and 12 year olds playIng together, they have multiple divisions. Most peewee systems break it down as 11-12, 9-10, 7-8, 4-6 or something similar. That said, he should have no problem playing on a 7th-8th grade team, seeing that he is a seventh grader, regardless of his lack of experience, considering his size. It seems he only wants to play if he is guaranteed to outsize his opponents significantly.

  8. donrwells3 - Aug 20, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    If it weren’t for being around 80 pounds overweight, this kid will would have an athletes body. If his mom is that supportive of her son’s dream, (didn’t catch it, play football at what level?) she should start feeding him right, push him to lose some of the weight, and work hard to ensure that he succeeds. He is a big kid, he should be playing with the other big kids his age.

    With a little bit of basketball thrown in, this guy could become a great finesse lineman or even a fullback depending on how he builds out! At his height, it would be wise to suggest both basketball and football. (He could definitely play a 5 at the jr. high level) He would lose his extra weight and be conditioned the entire year. Who knows, he may end up to be a stout 6’10 with a monster post game.

  9. jangocat - Aug 20, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    “he’s not ready to go up against kids with years of playing behind them”

    Oh really? But he is ready to crush 135lb kids though? Ya that’s fair and safe.

    This mother should worry more about her morbidly obese kids health and less about playing games, that kid is gonna die young. Diabetes, joint and heart problems are in his near future.

  10. t16rich - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    So his mom wants him out there crunching little guys but doesn’t want him playing with high school boys. Double standard mother who only sees it from her side.