Tolland Youth Football, Inc. located in Tolland, Conn. has 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 Tolland Youth Football Eagles offer flag football for young athletes who then transition through four levels of tackle football before moving on to high school. Additionally, there’s a cheerleading program for athletes who want to stay engaged during the season but aren’t interested in flag or tackle.
“We are a group of many surrounding towns of Tolland, as well as Tolland itself,” said Tolland Youth Football Treasurer Christina Smith. “We have created an environment of inclusivity and a sense of family for our athletes. When some may play against each other at the high school level, they will always leave the field as friends.”
The Eagles earned Silver Level status through the League Excellence Program in 2022 before achieving gold in 2023. Tolland Youth Football sees significant value in the League Excellence Program and USA Football’s Coach Certification.
“The League Excellence Program has allowed us to fill in the gaps in terms of policies & procedures and encourages and rewards leagues to strive to offer the best of everything for their athletes,” explained Smith. “We are truly grateful for all of the support USA Football has provided our league. From training, to articles of insight, to awarded grants. It’s immensely appreciated.”
Tolland Youth Football previously received grants through USA Football’s extensive grants program, which were fulfilled by USA Football’s partners Riddell and BSN Sports. According to Smith, the grants helped the Eagles replace critical equipment and put together swag gifts for athletes who were aging out of the program.
“Our volunteer board members and our families understand what is involved in running a successful football and cheerleading program,” said Smith. “In order to keep cost down on a generally expensive sport, many man-hours are required to generate funds through concessions, fundraising and sponsorships. With the large area that is encompassed by our league, it truly is a team effort to run the program.”
Tolland’s program seeks to support members of the local and nearby communities in need while providing positive examples for their young athletes.
“Our league comes through huge when someone is hurting,” said Smith. “One of our peewee footballers had to take a break from the league. When he came to an away game, we got him a shout-out over the loudspeaker and stopped to clap for our little guy. On more than one occasion, we lost a coach from another league, and Tolland made sure to send something their way to let their families know that there are things beyond football that we are here for.”
Congratulations to Tolland Youth Football, Inc. on another successful year and for earning Gold Level status.