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Youth football league suit ‘amicably’ settled

Team challenged conference over player’s residency. Settlement kept private.

A civil lawsuit filed by a youth football club seeking to reinstate a player who was suspended by the league has been settled, an attorney said.

Details of the settlement were not publicly disclosed.

Kingston Township Raiders filed the lawsuit in Luzerne County Court last Friday against the Wyoming Valley West Youth Football Conference and five executive officers, alleging the league unfairly suspended a player on the Raiders “A” team.

According to the suit, the league received an anonymous letter challenging the residency of a 13-year-old player on Sept. 28, nearly two months after registration and five weeks into the season.

The player resides with his father in Hunlock Township, which the league’s by-laws describe as an “open territory,” which is any town within 20 miles of the Wyoming Valley West stadium that does not have a youth football organization.

The lawsuit claimed the league and its officers failed to follow its own by-laws when a player’s residency is challenged.

A hearing scheduled before a judge on Thursday in an attempt to have the league reinstate the player was canceled when a compromise was reached.

“While the league was prepared to defend the lawsuit in court, the matter has been resolved amicably in the best interest of the players,” according to a news release that was sent by attorney Jarrett Ferentino, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Raiders.

“The settlement preserves the integrity of the league’s rules and is fair to both parties, as well as to the other teams in the league. The parties agree that actions of the league to enforce its by-laws in this case were taken solely in the interest of fairness and for the benefit of the players,” the news release says.

According to the league’s by-laws, once a player is deemed ineligible, every game in which the player participated will be forfeited.

The news release doesn’t state if the Raiders’ undefeated season remains intact or will be expunged. Ferentino said in a voice mail that details of the settlement will remain private because of the boy’s age.

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