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High School Football Initiatives

High School All-Star & Coach of the Week

High School All-Star & Coach of the Week

The Chicago Bears "Coach of the Week" program was launched in 1996 and "High School All-Star" program in 2011. The "Coach of the Week" program honors outstanding Illinois high school coaches who develop players' football skills and knowledge, character, leadership, discipline and teamwork abilities. The nomination criteria for the "High School All-Star" program includes on-field performance, community involvement and good sportsmanship. Deserving high school coaches and players are nominated by a panel of local prep authorities and the winning player is selected each week from August 27-October 23. Since the program's inception, the Bears have donated more than $326,500 to Illinois high schools in support of their football programs.

Week 1 l Coach: Terry Maxwell - Player: Ethan Plumb

Week 2 l Coach: Adam Chavez - Player: Ki’On Carson

Week 3 l Coach: Colton Nero - Player: Lebarion Gilmore

Week 4 l Coach: Jeff Boyer - Player: Eddie Jenkins Jr.

Week 5 l Coach: George Klupchak - Player: Justin Jones

Week 6 l Coach: Matt Silkowski - Player: CJ King

Week 7 l Coach: Michael Maymola - Player: Nick Peipert

Week 8 l Coach: Chris Bazant - Player: Mason Boles

Week 9 l Coach: Dan Tito - Player: Cooper Kmet

Chicago Bears Community High School All-Star brought to you by Athletico Physical Therapy

Chicago Bears Community High School All-Star brought to you by Athletico Physical Therapy

The Bears are proud to partner with Athletico Physical Therapy to present the Chicago Bears Community High School All-Star Award that recognizes high school football players who make a positive impact in their community and school. These student-athletes exemplify service, leadership and character. The Bears Community High School All-Stars take the lessons learned through playing the sport of football and use them to benefit their community.

Week 1 l Abbie Lewis - Stevenson High School

Week 2 l Nicholas Armour - Leo Catholic High School

Week 3 l Margaret Yoest - Lane Tech College Prep High School

Week 4 l Adilene Diaz - Instituto Health Science Career Academy High School

Week 5 l Sajjad Hussain - Wauconda High School

Week 6 l Carson Strating - Morrison High School

Week 7 l David Lyle - St. Rita of Cascia High School

Week 8 l Grant Cochonour - Casey-Westfield High School

Week 9 l Clayton Shomaker - Carlyle High School

Nike 11-On

Nike 11-On

The Chicago Bears hosted the 3rd annual Nike 11-On at Fenton High School on June 29 and 30. Sixteen high schools participated in scrimmages and skills competitions over two days.  Those schools were:

  • Addison Trail
  • Carmel Catholic
  • Christ the King
  • Dundee-Crown
  • Evanston
  • Fenton
  • Joliet West
  • Lane Tech
  • North Chicago
  • Rochester
  • Rockford Auburn
  • South Elgin
  • Streamwood
  • Thornton Fractional North
  • Westinghouse
  • Willowbrook

As the winning team, Rochester received a $2,000 donation to their football program.  Carmel Catholic and Fenton received a $1,500 donation for coming in second and third place, respectively.  South Elgin received a $1,000 donation for fourth place, Dundee-Crown and Evanston received a $750 donation for coming in fifth and sixth place respectively, and Joliet West and Rockford Auburn received a $500 donation for coming in seventh and eighth place respectively.

State Champions

State Champions

During halftime on Dec. 10, the Bears recognized the 2023 Football State Champions:

  • Class 1A - Central Junior High School (Camp Point, IL.)
  • Class 2A - Wilmington High School (Wilmington, IL.)
  • Class 3A - Byron High School (Byron, IL.)
  • Class 4A - Rochester High School (Rochester, IL.)
  • Class 5A - Nazareth Academy (LaGrange Park, IL.)
  • Class 6A - Cary-Grove High School (Cary, IL.)
  • Class 7A - Mt. Carmel High School (Chicago, IL.)
  • Class 8A - Loyola Academy (Wilmette, IL.)
  • Girls Flag Football - Lane Tech College Prep (Chicago, IL.)
Athletic Training Grant

Athletic Training Grant

The Chicago Bears and Bears Care announced that Back of the Yards High School in Chicago and Thornton Township High School in Harvey will each receive grants from Bears Care for athletic training equipment that will support the health and safety of all students. In 2021, the Chicago Bears and Bears Care also presented Dunbar Vocational Career Academy in Chicago and Fenton High School in Bensenville with similar grants; Tucker also joined their coaches and staff virtually to share the news.

Girls Flag Football State Championship

Girls Flag Football State Championship

On Oct. 28,  2023, CPS Lane Tech High School was crowned the new Illinois Girls Flag Football state champions by the Chicago Bears. They clinched the title by defeating their CPS counterparts, Wendell Phillips High School, with a core of 30-0 in the championship final. Both Lane Tech and Phillips were considered underdogs going into the finals, having overcome two powerhouse teams, Willowbrook and Guilford in the semifinals.

In addition, the 2022 state champions, Willowbrook High School from Western Suburban League, secured the 3rd place spot this year after a well-fought victory against Guilford High School from Rockford, ending with a score of 12-0. Overall, more than 100 high school teams participated from six different leagues this year.

NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards

NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards

The Bears annually host the National Football Foundation Chicago Metro Chapter Scholar-Athlete Awards at Halas Hall. This year three high school seniors received college scholarships and trophies for their excellence on the football field, in the classroom and in the community. The scholarships are provided through a partnership between Bears Care and the National Football Foundation. Additionally, the Chicago Bears Community Champion Award was presented to two high school football players in recognition of their tremendous civic involvement. Each recipient received a $5,000 scholarship.

NFL Grassroots Program

NFL Grassroots Program

The NFL Foundation Grassroots Program is a partnership of the National Football League Foundation (NFL Foundation) and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to provide non-profit, neighborhood-based organizations, middle schools and high schools with financing and technical assistance to improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of local football fields.

Parks and playing fields can serve as tremendous community assets because they offer opportunities for recreation, education, and relaxation that contribute to the local quality of life, especially for young people. Since 1998, the Fields Program has awarded $61.8 million in grants for 431 projects in over 40 cities across the country. The 2023 Grassroots funding cycle will begin September 15, 2023 and the deadline for submissions will be December 15, 2023. Details on how to apply are available here.

Below are the past winners from the Chicago area:

  • 1998: Jackson Park Field (Chicago)
  • 2000: North Park University Football Field (Chicago)
  • 2000: New City YMCA Football Field (Chicago)
  • 2004: Jesse Owens Park (Chicago)
  • 2006: Lane Stadium (Chicago)
  • 2007: Lazier Field (Evanston)
  • 2008: Orr Academy High School (Chicago)
  • 2009: Gately Stadium (Chicago)
  • 2010: LaFollette Park (Chicago)
  • 2011: Altgeld Park (Chicago)
  • 2012: Kelly Park (Chicago)
  • 2013: Pullman Park Recreational Center (Chicago)
  • 2014: Manual Academy (Peoria)
  • 2017: Douglas Park (Chicago)
  • 2018: Ogden Park (Chicago)
  • 2019: Taylor Park (Chicago)
  • 2020: Leo High School (Chicago).

The National Football League Foundation (NFL Foundation) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and safety of sports, youth football and the communities in which we live. The NFL Foundation represents the 32 NFL clubs and supports the health and safety of athletes, youth football and the communities which support our game.