From all indications, Pleasant View Junior War Eagles youth football league won’t be having a 2019 season, and the news has stunned and saddened the community.
Coaches, parents, and the organization which administers the league’s bylaws are looking for answers from the Pleasant View Football Association’s commissioner, Josh Hamblin.
Searching for Answers
No official word about the status of the season has come from Hamblin at this point. He did not return phone calls, texts, or emails from The Post for a comment on the status on the league for this story.
Hamblin did post a comment on Facebook on June 25 that “We will have a league this year and we will be strong,” and went on to say that he had experienced family issues out of state.
However, many are piecing together that important work that needs to be done for the season, that hasn’t happened, and that a season for the Junior War Eagles is not a possibility at this point.
Tasks Not Completed
Hamblin did not appear at the city’s Parks and Recreation Department meeting on Monday, July 22, to petition for the use of the Community Park field for football practice. In June, officials with the Middle Tennessee Junior Football League, which administers the rules set out by the league, said Hamblin attended the Parks and Rec Department meeting about how to obtain use of the field and was told by city officials he would have to apply. What occurred in the weeks between the meetings, is not clear.
Jeff Wood, Middle Tennessee Junior Football League President, said he had not been contacted by Hamblin to say there would not be a season, but when he got word about Hamblin being a no-show at the most recent Parks and Rec meeting, he said having a season under Hamblin’s leadership did not appear likely. “I’m totally stunned,” Wood said. “Josh has always been there to help out.”
Wood said the Junior Eagles are moving forward without Hamblin, and the MTJFL is working to figure out what to do next in the coming days and weeks. “I’ll do what it takes to keep the program running,” he said. “If a parent steps up, ready to govern the league, I would give guidance,” and even ask city officials to assist in the education process.
But, Wood added, that with less than a month before their August 17th Jamboree, “outfitting the players might be a problem,” because it takes several weeks for uniforms to be made.
Community Shocked, Disappointed
Meanwhile, the community is shocked and upset. Pleasant View Mayor Perry Keenan said, “It’s a real loss, because there are a lot of kids who look forward to playing football and cheering every fall,” but that the city does not have the manpower and staff to run a league on its own.
Sycamore High School head football coach Justin Robison said he was “extremely disappointed. From Junior Pro to high school, we should all be working together toward a group of common goals. For the first time in 40 years, there will be no youth football in Pleasant View, and to me, that’s unacceptable.”
Robison and many parents voiced concerns about the leadership of the Junior War Eagles. “We have to make sure people who are put into the place of leadership are trying to grow the sport and can handle the responsibilities that come with running an organization,” he said.
Worries About Money Spent
In addition to the Pleasant View Junior War Eagle’s leadership issues and what message those issues send to their children, many moms and dads are worried about the fees they paid at signup, and any other money they put out for their children to play or cheer. According to the league’s website, registration fees for football players ages 5 – 11 were $135, while fees for cheerleaders ages 5 – 13 were $300.
As far as getting their money back, parents will have to reach out to the organization, Wood explained. “Each league is governed by their own bylaws. We at the MTJFL don’t write the rules, we administer the rules written by the community league.”
But what if parents can’t get their money back, even after several attempts? Then legal action would likely be the next step, Wood said.
The MTJFL would not step in to shut down the PV league, he said. If there was no league play, though, each game the Junior War Eagles were scheduled to play would be forfeited.
Other Leagues’ Opportunities
Other junior pro leagues like Cheatham County Junior Cubs and Joelton Vikings are welcoming Pleasant View Junior Pro football league signees so they can still play. Some are even offering discounts.