FRISCO — Some Frisco Football League parents say a coach's passionate pre-game pep talk to his grade school players went too far.
Some parents are angry, claiming the coach’s tough talk wasn't appropriate for kids so young.
Others say the coach's words were never meant to be taken literally.
In a video on the Gators Facebook page, the coach tells his players: “Hit them in the face as hard as you can.” He then adds: “Hit them in the chest, as hard as you can. Take them out. Make them know who you guys are."
One parent called the instructions "inappropriate." Another said it was “over the top.”
The Gators are comprised of six- and seven-year-old flag football players who don’t wear helmets.
“You can't leave that for a six- or seven-year-old to decide," said Kirk Darroch, a Frisco youth sports parent. "If you tell a six- or seven-year-old to go hit someone in the face, they're probably going to go ahead and do it."
One of the Gators' assistant coaches is Frisco City Council member Jeff Cheney, whose son plays for the team. Cheney defended the coach, saying the video of the pregame pep talk was taken out of context.
"I think everyone knows he didn't literally mean, 'punch the kids in the face,'" Cheney said.
Other like Kevin Crooks agree with Cheney’s assessment. “I can certainly see where he may have misspoke. But i didn't feel like he meant it that way," Crooks said.
A number of parents complained to the Frisco Football League. Board president Greg Kromkowski issued a statement saying:
The FFL Board of Directors is aware of this video from 3 weeks ago. We have reviewed it and responded to a small number of inquiries from parents not associated with this particular team. While we don't disagree that this could be construed as "over the top," we don't believe the coach was being literal or malicious in his intent. We believe that this has been taken out of context and an attempt made to blow this out of proportion. Regardless, we have addressed the situation with the coach and considered this matter closed weeks ago.
Kromkowski did not provide any additional information about how the issue was resolved. He said any FFL members who feel that the league's policies or procedures have been violated can file a formal grievance.
Assistant Coach Cheney told us the Gators coach is loved by parents and players, and teaches the kids how to play the game right.
"He's an old football coach, and so sometimes old football lingo sometimes will drift its way in," Cheney explained.
The coach at the center of the controversy chose not to talk with News 8.