'Selfish': Florida youth football season cut amid allegations of money being stolen

For the first time in 21 years, the Avalon Wolves won’t be playing football this season. The Pop Warner youth team has been sidelined.

Parents allege the money they paid to the program for kids to play ball this season was stolen and is being used to form another team. 

"This season we did our best to get a season off and unfortunately time wasn’t on our side," said Avalon Wolves Coach Jorge Munroe. "The previous board, the whole board decided to start their own for-profit organization."

Mike Houdtzagers, whose 10-year-old son, Anthony, was looking forward to his first year playing football, said the entire situation was unfortunate. "It’s really unfortunate, especially with the youth sports, that it’s for the kids, so they can play and develop and build those relationships and competitiveness and have adults ruin that for their own selfish needs is just pretty sad," he said.

There are several questions that are still unanswered: Where did the money go? Who took it? And most importantly, will the parents get it back?

In a statement, a spokesperson for Mid-Florida Pop Warner, which oversees teams in the area, said: "The Mid-Florida Pop Warner league is working with youth football participants and their families in the Avalon community to ensure there are opportunities to participate in Pop Warner Football this season." 

As for where the money went? "The two organizations are attempting to resolve a dispute about access to resources in an effort to ensure young people are not deprived of an opportunity to compete and have fun," the spokesperson said.

One option that is being considered is to let the kids play on another team. However, said that it was not an option.

"For us, it’s not an option to go to Lake Nona or Oviedo because that’s not what we wanted. That’s not why we signed up," he said.

Coach Jorge said it's been extremely difficult, and he hopes to have a team next season.

"Oh, it’s been extremely difficult. Especially these kids that really enjoy our program…," he said.

"What these other guys did, they hurt our season so much. It was detrimental to our success. And there’s a lot of parents and kids, they just want to play."