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R.I. coach fired for putting 18-year-old into youth football game

A coach for a Providence youth football team was fired after putting an 18-year-old man into a game being played by 13- and 14-year-olds, the team founder said.

The Capital City Buccaneers were losing their game Sunday against the Tri-town Titans when the coach decided to suit up an 18-year-old and send him into the game, Buccaneers founder Alexandra Diaz said. The man was the older sibling of one of the players.

Diaz said the 18-year-old was in the game for only two or three plays before she noticed and removed him from the field.

“When I noticed, I just ran onto the field,” Diaz said. “I took the actions I needed to take.”

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The coach has since been fired, Diaz said.

“He made a horrible decision in the moment in time,” Diaz said. “I fired the coach, and I took my kids’ jerseys off their backs and told them that their season is over.”

Diaz, who is in charge of two football teams, said she wasn’t present when the coach sent the older man into the game.

The Capital City Buccaneers, which is a free program for local kids, has also been removed from the league.

“We just heard from the Rhode Island Pre-Teen League, and they told me I was banned from the league,” Diaz said. “It’s devastating because the kids worked so hard, and one mistake caused the whole organization to suffer.”


Olivia Quintana can be reached at olivia.quintana@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @oliviasquintana.