The Twin Boro Bears located in Mendham, N.J. have earned Gold Level status through USA Football’s League Excellence Program for the 2023 season.
USA Football’s League Excellence Program is a way for youth football organizations to earn recognition for their commitment to raising operational standards and providing great environments for athletes and their families.
The Twin Boro Bears offer flag football for kids from pre-k through second grade. Tackle football is offered for grades three through eight with each grade representing its own individual tackle level. As part of the Morris County Youth Football League, the Twin Boro Bears structure their tackle program so the first three years are primarily instructional, while the final three years introduce more competitive elements, including a playoff structure.
The Twin Boro Bears earned Silver Level status through the League Excellence Program in 2021 and 2022 before achieving gold in 2023. The Bears see significant value in the League Excellence Program and USA Football’s Coach Certification.
“I believe very strongly in the USA Football’s Coach Certification courses,” said Twin Boro Bears Vice President of Coaches, Steven Lustig. “I feel they give our coaches a strong base in how to teach, how to communicate and how best to ensure the kids that join our program have a great and safe experience. Being a part of the League Excellence Program is important for our league as many parents see our dedication to safety and training and feel more comfortable about having their children involved in the sport of football.”
The Twin Boro Bears have also received equipment grants from USA Football, lowering the cost of providing certified equipment for athletes.
Lustig, who recently completed his 13th year with the program, believes the Morris County Youth Football League brings together plenty of genuine, talented individuals working to make football fun and accessible for kids in local communities.
“Our league is led by a lot of great people from the various townships in our league,” Lustig said. “All have worked incredibly hard to bring the sport of football to the children in our area. As a whole, the league has been very good with rules, safety and charity in our community.”
Similarly, the Twin Boro Bears also have an excellent group of volunteers and leaders who have helped the organization grow while staying true to its roots.
“The volunteers that represent the Twin Boro Bears are a very special group of people. All are committed to teaching and playing the game the right way,” Lustig said. “We were the first organization in our league to mandate Guardian Caps at all of our practices. We all believe that the most important thing we can do is grow our program year after year, and we have been incredibly successful in doing so.”
During his time with the Twin Boro Bears, Lustig has seen many inspirational and memorable moments, but the program’s response to the pandemic stood out to him because of the cooperation, dedication and patience organization leaders and volunteers showed while navigating difficult times.
“There have been many [inspirational moments], but I would have to say it was the 2020 season. With the onset of the COVID pandemic, no one was certain we would be able to have a season in the fall,” Lustig explained. “Our league, our organization and all of our volunteer coaches worked non-stop for months to take care of every single detail to make sure we could manage the safety of all involved and have a successful football season. I have never seen a team of volunteers work harder to make it happen, and we managed to have one of our most successful seasons of all time.”
Congratulations to the Twin Boro Bears on another successful year and for earning Gold Level status.