For the first time in 13 years, a volunteer Arkadelphia pee-wee football coach was not on the field Thursday night.
The City of Arkadelphia fired the coach after he got into it with a parent over a youngster's playing time on the field.
The coach said he was unjustly fired, and not given a chance to plead his case. The city said he was out of line.
It all started last Thursday following a game, when the former coach, Blake Bell said, a new prominent figure in the community took complaints to the city about their child not playing the right position.
"More than anything, I'm disappointed," said Bell.
Monday, just 4 days after the game in question, Bell was fired from his volunteer pee-wee football coaching position, a position he's held for 13 years.
The City of Arkadelphia said it's because of a text message sent to a parent. It said the parent's child wasn't good at a certain position and that hopefully they'll get their way on another team.
Bell claimed the parents weren't happy about which position their child got to play.
"I put him on the defensive side and the parents weren't too crazy about that," Bell explained.
But the text didn't stop there, the final sentence said "welcome to my hometown."
The entire message is something the city isn't standing for.
"The message was sent in poor taste after action had already been taken to resolve the situation," said City Manager, Jimmy Bolt, in a statement. The city took steps to move the child to a different team after the father called asking for a change.
"It was a jab and probably wasn't the best thing to do," said Bell, referring to the text. "I told my team last night that the reason I'm not coaching is because I made a mistake."
Others say, however, that it shouldn't have gotten to this point to begin with.
"Coaches coach, players play, parents cheer," said Damon Hart.
Hart is a referee in the same league Bell coaches. He's seen issues like this before and has an answer to parents who he said don't get their way.
"If you want to step in the forefront, hey they have a volunteer application. You fill it out, you coach," Hart said.
Bell's concern, however, isn't just with these parents' role within the league, but into the father's prominent role in the community.
"Sometimes people throw their weight around," Bell said.
The father, Dr. Glendell Jones, is the newest president of Henderson State University. Bell feels he took advantage of his position to get his child moved, something he said the Parks system never does, which ultimately led to his firing.
Messages left with the parent of the child were not returned.
Bell said he wishes they could have settled the dispute like adults, but understands his text wasn't the way to do that.