NY1 For You: Championship Jackets Arrive Too Late For Pee Wee Football Team
Becoming champions is not the same without the glory, and one Staten Island Pee Wee Football coach says his team was robbed of that by a local store. NY1's Susan Jhun filed the following NY1 For You report.
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Winning the Staten Island Pee Wee Football League Championship was a thrill for The Dawgs.
"We came from a place where we didn't win any games for a long time and then to win the championship was kind of extra special for these kids," says Michael Aprile, the Pee Wee football coach and an Oakwood Beach resident.
It was a memory coach Aprile hoped to mark with championship jackets, bragging rights for the boys to wear at the awards breakfast.
The 19 jackets, including two for the coach and assistant coach, cost $2,500. Aprile pooled the money from the parents and ordered the jackets from The Soccer Post in early December. He was told he would have them in four to six weeks, in time for the awards breakfast.
Four weeks turned to 14 weeks and still no jackets had arrived. The team missed wearing them to their awards ceremony. That's when Aprile called the manufacturer directly.
"He could tell me that he didn't received the order from the Soccer Post until January 30," says Aprile.
That was almost two months after Aprile ordered them. Finally, three-and-a-half months after the jackets were ordered, they received them. Now, Aprile says, the weather is too warm to wear them and by next year they probably won't fit the boys.
"A lot of the other teams got to wear it and when they did we always wanted ours, so when the time finally came we knew that we can wear ours but then we don't get the jackets," says Michael Aprile Jr., a quarterback for the Dawgs.
"That jacket is their trophy. They wear that trophy on their back every day and that's what they wanted and it was heartbreaking," says Aprile.
NY1 called The Soccer Post and the owner said he was truly sorry for the mistake and agreed to give Aprile $475 back, which he says is everything The Soccer Post made on the order, because it came from an outside vendor.
It's not exactly a touchdown for Aprile and his championship team but it's some consolation for a scarred celebration.