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Update: Fellow coaches say man charged with assault was not at fault


Original Story

A coach has been charged after allegedly assaulting a 14-year-old during football practice.

Seth H. Rocca, the 28-year-old Leesburg assistant coach for the Cougars of the Upper Loudoun Youth Football League, was charged with misdemeanor simple assault and released on a $2,500 secured bond.

The incident occurred on Sept. 28 near the 17500 block of Franklin Park Drive in Purcellville. The teen was not injured.

Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Kraig Troxell was able to further elaborate on the assault.

“Basically, he had lined up against the 14-year-old and shoved him and pushed him to the ground,” Troxell said. “Other coaches had to get involved, and based on the investigation and talking with parents and other coaches, he was charged.”

The Upper Loudoun Youth Football League just finished its third week of play. Officials are aware of the incident, but were not yet ready to give a statement at 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 29.

“We’re trying to get to the bottom of it right now,” Vice President Mark Powell said.

Rocca also plays defensive end for the minor league Virginia Chargers football team. The Chargers play in the Atlantic Football Association, a semi-pro league.

Update: 3:39 p.m.

Robert Matthews, another assistant coach for the A-League Cougars, said that Rocca was not at fault.

“It’s a very big misunderstanding,” Matthews said. “It was more Seth trying to help the kid with his technique and trying to keep a [big] kid from falling over.”

Matthews said that the kid, standing 6 feet 2 inches and weighing about 250 pounds, was doing a lineman drill against Rocca when he started to fall. According to Matthews’ account, they grappled when the kid started falling backwards and both ended up on the ground, the player yelling for Rocca to get off of him.

“Seth did not mean any harm to that kid,” Matthews said. “You will get that side of the story from everyone who was there aside from that kid’s parents.”

Another assistant coach on the team, Jim Rosick, was not at yesterday’s practice and didn’t see the incident, but reiterated that none of the coaches he worked with would purposely harm a kid.

Diane Warr, manager of the Cougars, was at practice and saw the event unfold.

“It looked like [Rocca] was trying to teach him how to play football,” Warr said. “I wouldn’t call it a physical assault. The kid was in full pads, Seth didn’t have [any pads] on.”

Warr said that the player’s parents took him and left practice, then called police.

The Cougars have a game tonight at 7:30 p.m. against the Bucs at Fireman’s Field, located at 250 S. Nursery Ave. in Purcellville.

Update: Oct. 5, 10:46 a.m.

Rocca sent the Times-Mirror a statement through his lawyer. You can find the statement at Football coach facing assault charges on minor releases statement through lawyer


@Samantha Aguilar:  Do you actually know anyone involved other than the family you are trying to defend?  Where you at each and every practice watching this coach and this player and were you at the practice in question???  You are just as bad if not worse than the people on this site who have attacked the family.  This is a devastating situation for ALL sides and never should have gotten to this point.  To you and everyone else who has personally attacked the coach, the player and his family, KEEP YOUR COMMENTS TO YOURSELVES, you all sound like fools.

First of all, this entire story is onesided and in favor of Mr. Rocca.  What you all do not know is that the child that was assaulted was being pressured from this coach since the moment he stepped on the field.  What you all need to be reminded of is that just because of his height and weight does not automatically make him a super football player and all this pressure put on him was not fair.  The boy obviously had had enough physical and mental bullying from this assistant coach.  Many coaches manipulate children into thinking it is their fault for whatever reasons they may have.  It is not this boys fault and who should blame a father for wanting to protect his child?  If it had been your son or daughter being thrown around like this, would you allow it based on “Raising an Athelete 101?”  Maybe, because you all are invested in this fantasy that your children are the best and will be pro atheletes someday so let them take the mental and physical abuse for now! Well I certainly wouldn’t stand for it if this were my child.  There are better ways to communicate on how to teach someone a skill.  I commend the boy who stood up for himself and his parents for wanting this psychopath ASSISTANT coach to be brought to justice.  If others have witnessed this bullying and have been bullied they will come forward.  This guy definitely has agressive behavior issues and does not need to be around children.  REMEMBER this assistant coach could have easily brought in another player to “teach” the boy how to block properly but he did not.  He took him to the side and knocked him down, something he did not have to do.  Had he been an educated man, he would have known not to put his hands on a minor. Instead he is a neanderthal who does not differentiate between a 6’2” child or a 6’2” man.  Also, you need to realize this boy is 14 and has the mentality of a 14 year old like he should!  This 28 year old apparently cannot think of anyone but himself.  For the record, he admitted to what he has done and that is why he was arrested.  So everyone who is on this team, supporting this guy is in the wrong. SHAME ON YOU ALL for continuing to harrass this poor defenseless family.  You have no idea where they come from.  Perhaps violence is not used in their household as a teaching mechanism.  Again, this isn’t a episode from the movie “The Blind Side,”  this coach was not purposely trying to better this student, he was out to hurt and embarass him infront of his peers.  When the verdict is reached I certainly hope you all have come to realize, by then, that adults are not allowed to put their hands on children (On or off the field).

Sorry for the duplicates in my message. I hate typing on a smart phone. Can’t see the whole message. I guess it should have been twelve points.

Agree with Football Mom….and it’s not like the kid didn’t match up size wise with the coach.  The kid is 6’2” and 250 pounds already and he was in full gear. No football coach around is going to want to coach that kid—- with that father hovering around—- no way.

Wow! I don’t know Coach Seth but from the post on here from the kids he coaches and the parents that witness the incident I am sure he meant no harm. I understand the need to physically show a child how to execute a certain blocking or tackling drill because some children do not learn by verbal instruction alone. I only hope that Coach Rocca can overcome this unfortunate overblown incident. No coach is out there with intentions to hurt a child! This coach seemed to be showing this child proper form, which would aide in this child avoiding an injury out on the field during a game.

Football is a collision sport. It’s hit or be hit! If you don’t want your child in this full contact sport, don’t sign them up!

Not trying to sound rude or uncaring but those are the facts. This is a game of gladiators and it’s not for the weak.

I wasn’t there and don’t know what exactly happened so I will comment on the incident. What I will say is that coaches are not out there to hurt your children. They are out there to teach your child a sport they love and help grow them as individuals through personal experiences they face out there on the field.

TO 10 POINTS - umm…you have sixth and seventh each in there twice - nice chronological structure though….(except for that).

@ Thanks to Coach Rose, many memories were built

did you miss the games where wonderful coach rose would throw his clipboard down the sideline? are you kidding me its KIDS football….....or were you there when he would cuss a kid? or throw his clipboard at a kid?

Honestly, I don’t know this man at all but by his picture he looks like he’s got serious anger issues. Probably explains why he picks on kids and doesn’t bother to could adult football or any additional adult activity.

Sad…. When grown MEN pick on kids, especially in front of so many witnesses

Here is some info for all you non-law enforcement types. First, there was a allegation based on observations from those interviewed. Second, the defendant admitted to the act to the deputy regardless of his explanation of intent.Third, the parent request charges be filed. Fourth, deputies were on scene 48 minutes and interviewed those who stuck around after the incident. Fifth, the victim is a juvenile so the parent cannot obtain their own warrant against the alleged suspect, a law enforcement officer must do so due to it being a Juvenile Court matter. Sixth, even if the crowd was 50/50 on the act being intentional the deputy has no choice once the parent says they want to press charges. Seventh, the deputy did their job as required by Va Law. It is not the deputies job to pass judgement or determine if the act was intentional. That is up to a judge after hearing witnesses and evidence. Sixth, apparently there was enough evidence for a magistrate, (lower level judge) to agree that an alleged assault had occurred otherwise the deputy could not have obtained the warrant. Seventh, for those of you that keep writing Loudoun PD. You don’t even know the proper terminology for your local law enforcement agency what could you possibly know about the law. Eight, It’s a bad situation but the deputy did what was required under law. Yes, could the accused be innocent and could the act have been an accident, sure. But that is not the deputies job, that’s the judges job to decide. Ninth, If you don’t like the way the job was done and you think you could do better…..Loudoun SHERIFF’s OFFICE is hiring. Tenth, shut up and be thankful that there are men and women still willing to put their lives on the line for you whining, crying, complaining, know nothings of Loudoun County.

Looks like a lot of guys posting now are the same ones who took too many hits to the head when during their little league football glory days.

was with you until i read your last sentence.  you lost a pretty good argument….

This case is starting to remind me of the Duke Lacrosse players.  One phone call and a guy is in chains.  Doesn’t appear as though any investigation was conducted here - just hear an allegation, make an arrest.  I guess that’s really all they can do - investigating a crime would take work and that might interfere with peddling sports drinks.

to excop

In response to this statement you made
“And those of you who are using this case to launch a political attack against Sheriff Simpson should go home, read the political pages, and drink a big, hot cup of shut the f%*& up. “


As a non-parent, ex-college football player, and frequent user of Franklin Park I am glad to see the coaches being accountable. Every week I see these coaches acting like total meathead, ex-athletes who could not cut it years ago. They are obnoxious, rude to other park users, and are all around pathetic losers who live vicariously through youth. Its too bad this guy got singled out as he was probably doing his job as a coach. As for the other caoches I hope this wakes you up and you learn how to treat other park users. A bunch of self-entitled meatheads always looking for a fight.

In defense of Kraig Troxell… He is NOT a sworn deputy and does NOT investigate crimes.  He is a civilian employed as the Public Information Officer. His job is to relay to the media the information he is provided.  Period.  It’s not his job to investigate either the allegation or the investigation.  What he sends out in his press releases is the information he is provided.

As for the asinine allegations that Sheriff Simpson might be trying to use this case to bolster his re-election bid… REALLY???  Do you think Simpson was consulted prior to the arrest and thought this would help?  Give me a break!

Two people were WRONG here… The idiot father who probably DEMANDED that the coach be arrested, and the idiot deputy who failed to properly investigate the allegation from the idiot father, and then reported that he “interviewed several witnesses,” which was obviously NOT the case.  This, of course, is assuming that a deputy was called to the scene rather than the father obtaining an arrest warrant directly from the magistrate.  If that were the case, the deputy would have no choice once the warrant was issued.

If our Commonwealth’s Attorney has any integrity, he will conduct his own investigation and dismiss the charge.  The sheriff might also consider investigating this and take disciplinary action against the deputy who FAILED to properly do his job and apparently lied about it… Again, assuming the deputy made the decision to arrest.

As for the father, way to go d-bag. I’m glad you’re not my dad.  YOU and the idiot deputy who made the arrest owe this coach an apology.

And those of you who are using this case to launch a political attack against Sheriff Simpson should go home, read the political pages, and drink a big, hot cup of shut the f%*& up.

Coach there is no such organization as Loudoun County PD

I want to first address all of the people who commented on here that they saw what happened firsthand:                             

It seems like everyone here agrees that Loudoun County PD has it all wrong and never properly investigated the incident in the first place. Since they aren’t willing to do the jobs our tax dollars pay for, maybe we all need to stand up and take matters into our own hands. I’d suggest calling Loudoun County PD’s Non-Emergency line (703-777-1021) ASAP and demanding that you are able to fill out a witness statement in regards to this particular case. They can’t refuse to take your statement! If this case against the Coach goes to court, which sadly at this point in time it seems it will, all of your statements could quite possibly make the D.A. or Judge completely drop the charges.                 

Secondly, I’d suggest contacting someone at the Loudoun Times to inform them that their reporting of this event is not only vastly incorrect but additionally, potentially libelous.               

Finally, I’d recommend that anyone who actually knows the Coach informs him to get a real good lawyer and have him issue cease& desist letters to anyone who has published or issued any slanderous, libelous or false statements, including Loudoun County PD’s press release.                                 

As a Coach myself, I am well aware of how a few bad apple parents can spoil the bunch and it truly sickens me! Parents should have to pass “Parenting an Athlete 101” before their child is even allowed to tryout, thereby eliminating all those who end up ruining it for the kids in the long run, lol.

This is the perfect example of why we need a new Sheriff…  November 8 can’t come quick enough…

Once again the inept LCSO sticking their nose where it does not belong.  Too bad the LCSO can’t reduce crime.

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