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