The Belleville Youth Football Program Inc. located in Belleville, Wis. has earned Gold Level status through USA Football’s League Excellence Program for the 2022 season.
USA Football’s League Excellence Program is a way for youth football organizations to earn recognition for a commitment to raise operational standards and provide a great environment for athletes and their families.
“Belleville is a small, tight knit community whose high school enrollment is 284 students,” Director of Coaching and Education Steve Meier explained. “We have been able to bring numerous kids into the program who needed some guidance in their lives. While being part of a team, they make new friends, learn discipline, sportsmanship and how to set goals.”
Meier started the Belleville Youth Football Program in 1993 and has coached every year. He retired following the 2017 season and helped reorganize the new program as an advisor from 2018 until 2020. Meier has served as a board member since 2021.
“All our volunteers want the youth of our community to be good citizens, good students and good family members,” said Meier. “The sport of football has so many aspects to it that teach life lessons and we’re excited to pass those lessons on.”
The Belleville Youth Football Program passes on many life lessons, including the importance helping people in need. Meier detailed an incredible act of kindness the organization’s three tackle teams participated in.
“We have a young girl in the community who has been fighting cancer for the past two years. Her wish was to have a lemonade stand at the local farmer’s market to raise money to fight cancer. Our three tackle teams practice four blocks away. Each team jogged the four blocks to her stand to buy lemonade for her cause,” Meier said. “The look on her face when she saw all the football players at her stand was priceless. It showed our players that there are many people in the world that need help and a small gesture can make a difference.”
The Belleville Youth Football Program’s three tackles teams are only part of the age groups the organization serves. There’s an in-house flag program for players from four-year-old kindergarten to third grade, an eight-man padded flag program for fourth and fifth graders that competes against a program from another town, and the 11-man tackle program for grades six through eight that participates in the Badger East Youth Football League.