"Teams can all play in their neighborhoods," said Kusimo-Frazier after the hearing.
The Kanawha Valley and Mountain State leagues also will be required to play each other in at least two games per year for the next three years, according to the agreement. The leagues also will have to participate in a "grid-o-rama" scrimmage event at the beginning of the season. After three years, if the leagues wish to stop competing they must give a season's notice before pulling out.
"That was something that wasn't expected," said Paul Gilmer, president of MidWestern. "It's very positive."
Gilmer said he was getting nervous about his team not having a league.
"This was the first time we weren't, we felt like orphans," he said.
Dean Sigmon, president of the Kanawha Valley league, said now, "We can all move forward for the betterment of the kids."
Kevin Hughart, who represents the Mountain State league, said after the hearing that Mountain State didn't leave the Kanawha league because of race issues, but how it was being run.
"In a nutshell, they didn't feel the bylaws were being followed, they wanted to play year-round football and we didn't" Hughart said. "It's not a race issue."
In 2001, a similar lawsuit was filed against the Chemical Valley youth football league. That lawsuit was settled and the teams with mostly black players were invited into the league, but through the years, many local teams left the Chemical Valley league to play in the Kanawha Valley league.
Attorneys will prepare an order on the agreement in the next several weeks, which Zakaib must approve before it is final.
Reach Kate White at kate.wh...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.