Glenwood Cougars football league suspended for 13-year-old player who tested into 10th grade

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Saturday, October 1, 2022
Pee-wee football league suspended for player, 13, who tested into HS
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The Glenwood Cougars football team has been suspended for having a high school player. Tremayne Gandy Jr. is 13, but tested into 10th grade.

GLENWOOD, Ill. (WLS) -- Controversy is brewing in a south suburban pee-wee football league over one child's participation.

He's the same age as his teammates, but his high academic abilities have cost his team a shot at the playoffs - and the boy's coaches say that's not right.

The Glenwood Cougars football program fields numerous teams with players up to 14 years old. Tremayne Gandy Jr. is 13 years old, but he's academically advanced and just enrolled in high school as a sophomore. That's great for his academic progress, but a problem for his football team.

The league has suspended the team for having a high school player on the roster.

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"Here's a young man that is 13 years old doing a 10th grade education and he is being penalized," team president Gary Richardson said. "Not just him, but the whole program is being penalized."

The league rules clearly state no player shall be registered if he or she is entering high school. The league issued a statement saying " is regrettable to enforce a disciplinary action that affects the wider organization, however, each of the 13 franchises in the league have agreed to honor these bylaws in exchange for fair play." The suspension affects all 200 players and cheerleaders in the program.

"Football is gonna come and go," cheerleader director Ouida Howard said. "Your education is gonna always be there. And for them to make this a negative is not good."

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Coaches said Tremayne has been in the program since he was 6 years old. But the 13-year-old is 140 pounds, and his coaches say he's not physically or emotionally ready to play with other high school sophomores.

He read a letter of apology to his teammates, which has gotten thousands of views on YouTube, but other parents say he has nothing to apologize for.

"It bothers me as a parent," Tyrone Blatcher said. "We should be celebrating something like this, this kid."

The Cougars plan to play four more games left this season and they will have to forfeit all of them and will not be allowed to go to the playoffs, unless the board reverses its decision.