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Registration for the 2024 Season Opens on February 10th, 2024

Elmhurst Bears Football is built on five core principles. 

1.  Education
The Elmhurst Bears and Pop Warner WILL put Academics first. Pop Warner ensures every player that wears their shield maintains a high standard in the class room as well as on the field. Pop Warner is the only youth football program locally that requires academic standards to be met to play and rewards those who go above and beyond in the classroom.  In 2023, The Elmhurst Bears reported over 90 Pop Warner Scholar athletes, the highest in program history!

The Bears will have a designated Academic Chair as a part of their board ensuring standards are met and those who exceed are rewarded! Report cards get checked at every level and academic award are earned regardless of football talent, locally, regionally. A leading goal of our program is to have every player that wears our uniform be recognized for their academic achievements at the regional Pop Warner Little Scholars Awards Banquet. 

2. Player Safety
There is nothing we take more seriously than player safety. We are investing in the top of the line Riddell equipment (Speed Flex helmet, should pads) most importantly we are investing in a technology in our players helmets that will help detect potentially dangerous blows to the head. See the technology in action:  The Bears staff a certified athletic trainer at all of our home games to provide immediate assistance to injured athletes.

3. Coaching and Development 
The Elmhurst Bears will implement top tier coaching at every level.  All of our coaches are certified through USA Football, Pop Warner, and given a background check.  Our coaches are given tools to help design practices, game plans, and playbooks.  The Bears invest in Hudl in order to help athletes reach their highest potential. We also provide outside training to our coaches through the Glazier clinics and in-house coaching clinics. The ICCP Football program also assist with coaches training, player camps and work as advisors throughout the season to ensure our players and coaches have additional support to ensure success on the football field.  

4. Affordable Football
We are committed to offering low cost football for all athletes. Working with our strategic partners at the local and national level, we are able to deliver affordable football for all of our families. There are NO hidden costs throughout the season. Scholarships and payment plans are available.  We support all families and athletes regardless of their financial situations.  For more information on scholarships and or payment plans, please inquire at [email protected]

5.Partnerships and Community
Outside of the partnership with our local High School program we also have support from Chicago Bears and the NFL Players Association (Retirees) which will offer coaching and development support. Several local businesses have already stepped up seeking ways to help the program, Pop Warner Scholarship Award, Glazier Coaching Clinics etc. Our goal is to build a great program for our community. Please email us if you are interested in sponsoring or partnering with the Elmhurst Bears. [email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions

There are no refunds for registration after July 1st.

Only certified (including background check) coaches, players, and Elmhurst Bears Board members are allowed on
the field for practice and/or games.

All required paperwork must be turned in prior to receiving equipment and beginning practice.

New Parent Information 

What does a typical week of football look like? 
Most teams 6U-13U will practice three days per week and play one game over the weekend. The length of the practice will vary by team and age group.  Practice will begin on August 1st, 2024. Games will begin on August 30th 
and continue to October 19th.  The first weekend of playoffs will be on October 26th.

What equipment is needed? 
All players will be issued a helmet, shoulder pads, practice jersey, practice pants with integrated padding,  
a two-sided game jersey, and game pants with integrated padding. Players will need to supply their own mouth guard and cleats.

How are teams determined?
The Elmhurst Bears follow the Pop Warner guidelines for age-based play (no weight restrictions on players). The
age groups are determined by a birthday cutoff on July 31st, 2024.

Depending on the number of registrants and the skill of the athletes, Pop Warner divides into three Divisions
(D1, D2, D3). Evaluations for divisions will take place during the first two weeks of August practice.

Division 1 and 2 are the most competitive teams and will play against top tier competition at the state,
regional, and national level. Pop Warner National Championships are held in Walt Disney World in Florida during
December and are broadcast on ESPN.

Division 3 is considered a developmental level, but will still have a competitive schedule and compete in the post
season. Per Chicagoland Pop Warner, Division 3 teams are determined by program experience, team success,
percentage of on-age-level athletes, and how many teams are housed at that age in each division.

Age DivisionAge on July 31, 2024
6 U6
7 U6 or 7
8 U7 or 8
9 U7, 8 or 9
10 U8, 9 or 10
11 U9, 10 or 11
12 U10, 11 or 12
13 U11, 12 or 13

Who are the coaches?
The Bears are very proud to have 60+ USA Football and Pop Warner certified coaches. Our coaches are often the parents of our players, but also include local high school football coaches and former IC Catholic football players.  Our coaches work closely with the IC Catholic football staff, Glazier Clinic, and our Football Director Kelly Henkel
(14 years experience as a high school coach) to help provide the best possible football experience for our players.

What league do the Bears play in? 
The Bears play in the Chicagoland Pop Warner league as part of the Pop Warner Mid American Region. See Chicagoland Pop Warner for more details.

Important Dates 

First Day of Practice: August, 1st 2024

Scrimmage: Weekend of 8/24/24 (Subject to field availability and level)

First Game: Weekend of 8/31/24 (Saturday or Sunday)

First Weekend of Playoffs: Weekend of 10/26 (Teams play a single elimination bracket by division)


Phone : 224-828-2406
Email : [email protected]
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