West Milford midget football helps NBJFL mission

West Milford. Consolidation of two area youth football programs gives kids a better opportunity to compete.

| 18 Dec 2019 | 11:14

    The Northern Bergen Junior Football League (NBJFL) is on a mission to provide every participant, whether player or cheerleader, with a fun, safe, competitive, and memorable youth football experience.

    ”How do we give (every child) an opportunity to: 1. learn football, 2. have fun, and 3. provide a real safe environment for them,” said Bert Zevzavadjian, President of the NBJFL. “That was, in no particular order, but that’s essentially the league’s mission.”

    The West Milford Midget Football Association (WMMFA) announced that the program was joining the NBJFL in 2018.

    “We attempt to collaborate with youth programs that kind of share that same mission and vision,” Zevzavadjian said.

    At the time of the announcement, WMMFA Football Director Dan Platt cited the NBJFL’s organization, professionalism, and family atmosphere as the primary reasons behind the move.

    Platt mentioned the league’s scheduling process as well, which ensures that all players receive playing time.

    The scheduling process also allows teams at all levels of competition to play opponents of the same town at the same location each weekend.

    That way, families with cheerleaders and/or football players participating at different age levels don’t have to split up and divide their travel schedules.

    The NBJFL includes football programs from Bergenfield, Mahwah, Montville, Northern Highlands, Oakland, Paramus, Paterson, River Dell, Ramsey, Ridgewood, Secaucus, Wayne PAL, Woodland Park, and Wyckoff.

    In order to better familiarize the various programs with one another, the league splits its season into three parts: the pre-season, regular season, and post-season.

    ”When we looked at how can we continue to grow the good culture of football and sportsmanship and really share the greater good amongst all the football communities, we took a look at how we approach the season and competition, and how we can create as much equity in the league as possible,” said Zevzavadjian.

    In the pre-season portion, the NBJFL hosts a free summer football camp for all participating programs, which gives the various coaches and players a chance to start working together.

    The coaches then get together to customize a regular season schedule that fits the needs of each particular program best.

    “We try to create a schedule that creates as much fairness as possible,” Zevzavadjian said. “We want to make it as competitive as possible, but still provide opportunities for all the kids to be successful.”

    At the conclusion of the regular season, the committee creates multiple post-season brackets to ensure that all teams are evenly matched.

    After the playoffs, coaches from each participating program are asked to nominate three players from each level of competition to play in an All-Star Game.

    This year’s All-Star Game just took place on Nov. 24 and numerous West Milford youths took part in the contest.

    For more information on the NBJFL, you can visit the league’s website at www.nbjfl.org and for more on the WMMFA or registration information, you can visit that website at www.WMMFA.com or its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/wmmfa.