Meet The 300-Pound 12-Year-Old Who They Say Is Too Big For Pee Wee Football (Video)
For most kids sports, being freakishly huge and gifted is a blessing. You’re twelve years old, 6’1″, and you throw 80 mph? Hello Little League World Series! Eleven with the body of a 14-year-old and mad soccer skills? That’s the fast track to a college scholarship.
But if you’re twelve years old, 6’1″, 297 pounds, and you want to play pee wee football? Well, sorry. You’re too big.
And that’s the predicament young Elijah Earnheart of Mesquite, Texas, finds himself in. The 7th grader is ginormous, and he wants to play pee wee football with his buddies. However, the Mesquite Pee Wee Football Association has strict rules: no players over 135 pounds.
Or at least, that’s league president Ronnie Henderson‘s interpretation of the rule book. The coach for the Mesquite Vikings, Marc Wright, says that (A) there are kids over 135 pounds in the league, and (B) that the rules simply say any kid over the weight limit must wear an X on their helmet and be limited to playing on either the offensive or defensive line.
However, it’s not Wright’s interpretation of the rules that matters. It’s Henderson’s. And right now his interpretation is that pool Elijah is out.
Obviously, the kid is disappointed. It’s probably hard enough being a 6’1″, 300-pound kid without being officially declared a freak by the local pee wee football league.
However, before everyone gets all bent out of shape, there are some important facts to consider here.
First, except for a strange glitch in the rules that would make Earnheart eligible if he were still in the 6th grade—and they probably just didn’t make a rule against it because they didn’t think it would happen—the rules barring huge kids from pee wee football is kind of reasonable, isn’t it? This kid, in particular, is the size of a college player. So it’s safe to assume that he could probably mangle somebody.
Second, the Mesquite Pee Wee Football Association isn’t Elijah’s only option for playing football. He is perfectly eligible to play in the local school league. But he doesn’t want to.
“I don’t want to play in school right now because it’s people that’s had experience and I want to get some experience first and then start playing,” he explains. “I just want to play because my teammates are my friends. I know them. I don’t want to go play for somebody else I don’t know.”
Is this sentiment understandable? Of course it is. The kid wants to be with his friends. But it’s not like this is the only option he has in life.
Moreover, in just two years he’ll be in high school, and I guarantee you that no high school football coach is going to turn away a 6’1″, 300-pound kid because he doesn’t have football experience. So this is hardly a death knell for Elijah’s football career. Just a setback.