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Sports

Undefeated Texas Little League Team Mysteriously Disqualified from Tournament

It’s called a Field of Dreams, and a group of 12-year-old boys from Tarrant County were living it.

“It was all of our dreams to play in the Little League World Series,” said Cooper Neumann.

“I’ve watched it for three straight years. And I was like, ‘Dad, can I try it? Can we try to play in that?'” added Harrison Harper.

The season went exceptionally well, with the boys winning every game. Their parents believe this success led to their downfall.

“The allegations started because our team was supposedly too good,” said Greg Harper, the boys’ coach.

The team faced accusations of having played together previously, having players who were too old, or living outside the required area—allegations the parents said they disproved.

“We provided water bills and other documents to substantiate our residency,” said Cyle Brossman, assistant coach.

Despite resolving these issues, complaints reached the Little League International Office in Pennsylvania. Following a call with the league president in Texas, the team was disqualified without a clear explanation.

“We asked for the reason why our kids were removed. They said it wasn’t their fault and referred us to our league president, who had voluntarily removed us,” said Harper.

The president did not respond to calls from NBC 5, but in a letter and conversations with parents, he mentioned facing an ultimatum: remove the team or face expulsion of the entire league.

“Just to have someone strip that away from you, for no reason at all. We’ve sent emails and made phone calls, but received no explanation,” said Michelle Peluso, a parent.

Little League International released the following statement:

“A protest was filed with the Little League International Tournament Committee by another league participating in the Texas District 7 Tournament. The Tournament Committee reviewed the protest and discussed it with the League President, after which the Fossil Creek Little League team voluntarily withdrew from the Tournament. This withdrawal was accepted, and the tournament proceeded on June 19, 2024, without the team. Little League International considers this matter closed.”

“Little League talks about their motto, ‘I will play fair.’ Well, this doesn’t seem very fair, and not having an answer isn’t fair,” said Peluso.

If any rules were broken, the parents and players were unaware. This has been a life lesson for these boys, who will be too old to play again next year.

“I was disappointed. It would’ve been pretty cool to play on TV in front of a lot of people,” said Nicholas Brossman.

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