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Eye On Boise

Wed., Sept. 11, 2013, 1:35 p.m.

Gooding bans girls from youth football, though league says they can play

UPDATE: The Twin Falls Times-News reports this afternoon that the Gooding district has now reversed itself and agreed to let girls play - by a unanimous vote of the district's board.

Here’s a news item from the Associated Press: GOODING, Idaho (AP) — A southern Idaho recreational football district is banning girls from play, even though the rules for the league the district belongs to specifies that girls should be included. The Times-News (http://bit.ly/18PNQMG) reported that Gooding Recreation District Director Kent Seifert recently told youth football coach Smokey Legarreta to remove two girls from his team after Legarreta allowed them to join. Legarreta registered his stepdaughter, Waycee Irish, and a friend of hers, Justice Prince, on his team. Seifert, who declined to comment on the ban, didn't find out that the girls were part of the team until after they had attended a practice.

Legarreta says when Seifert did find out, he told him to take the girls off the team before the Magic Valley Youth Football League jamboree held last weekend. Legarreta refused to pull the girls before the jamboree, but told them they wouldn't be able to play after Saturday's last game. Gooding is the only district in the Magic Valley Youth Football League that bans girls, and league rules say both girls and boys are eligible. League Commissioner Mike Preece says he doesn't have enforcement power over member districts, but the league will review the situation next year. Joleen Toone, the president of the Gooding Recreational District's board of directors, said the rule banning girls has been in place for at least 10 years. "I don't think girls should be in tackle football," Toone said.




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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