The Northern Bergen Junior Football League (NBJFL) held its annual All-Star Game at the Doug Parcells Athletic Complex in Oradell on Nov. 24, and numerous West Milford youths took part in the contest.
“The goal of (the All-Star Game) is true to our mission,” said Bert Zevzavadjian, President of the NBJFL. “We try to bring all the families together, all the kids together, all the coaches together, and just outside of the emotions of football, we want to make sure that we’re still promoting the goodness of football.”
West Milford youth football players in grades 4, 6, and 8 participated in the game.
Fourth graders Luke Maslanek, Blake Tyburczy, Mason LaNeve, and David VanTassel were selected to play, as were sixth graders Cole Czerepak, Jeffery Papienuk, and Nick Manthey.
The eighth graders selected to participate were Jake Schwarzlow, Justin Platt, Danny Platt, and Parker Rutowski.
The NBJFL, which is comprised of youth football programs from northern Bergen County and surrounding areas, organizes the All-Star Game at the conclusion of the league’s playoffs every year.
Coaches from each participating program are asked to nominate three players from each level of competition to play in the game and the rules are adjusted to promote parity and player safety, and to ensure that every player plays.
“The All-Star game is not meant to promote individual players,” Zevzavadjian said. “It’s really meant to promote the goodness of the league.”
The West Milford Midget Football Association (WMMFA) announced that the football and cheerleading program was joining the NBJFL in 2018.
At the time of the announcement, WMMFA Football Director Dan Platt cited the organization, professionalism, and family atmosphere of the NBJFL as the primary reasons behind the move.
“We feel very fortunate to have a program like West Milford in our league,” said Zevzavadjian. “It gives them an opportunity to recognize some of the opportunities that the league presents to them and, for us, we realize that there’s a lot of goodness that West Milford provides to our league as well.”