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Youth Football Coaches Apologize After Bloody Fistfight In Front Of Parents, Players

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Two Nevada youth football coaches have apologized for taking part in a bloody fistfight in front of dozens of players and parents after a game last year.

Luis Perez and Neftaly Sanchez released a joint letter to the Wendover Times weekly newspaper, saying they were especially sorry that players and parents had to witness the fight.

The October 2012 incident in West Wendover near the Utah border stemmed from the final play of a game involving 10- to 13-year-old boys that was won by Perez’s team. Police said both men “chest-bumped” each other, threw punches and yelled obscenities.

Perez, 53, and Sanchez, 38, pleaded guilty in August to charges of disturbing the peace. The apology was printed in September. It came as part of a sentence that included an $887 fine and an order to take anger management classes.

Perez told police he asked his quarterback to kneel down with the ball to end the game, but Sanchez tried to get his bigger players to hurt the quarterback. Sanchez denied the allegation.

While witnesses disagree over who threw the first punch, they agree the fight began after the two coaches got in a heated argument over the final play.

“I should have never done what I did and retaliated. For that I was sorry,” Sanchez told The Associated Press on Friday.

Perez did not immediately return a phone call.

Sanchez had coached in the Great Basin Youth Football League for seven years without incident, while Perez was a first-year coach.

While a plea agreement bars the men from coaching youth football for a year, they have been permanently banned from coaching in the league.

Robert Loncar, head of the league, has said they let their tempers get the best of them and served as poor role models.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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