It’s called the Super Bowl of Chicago-area youth football and this year the trophy for the annual sporting event came to Oak Park and River Forest.

On Nov. 13, the Oak Park-River Forest Youth Football (OPRFYF) program’s Big Ten Varsity age and weight class team won a Chicagoland Youth Football League championship by defeating Des Plaines 27 to 6 at Carmel High School stadium in Mundelein. 

“This was a great group of kids because we were undersized for a varsity team but they kept believing in each other and the process and achieved this special result,” said head coach Derrick Peavy after the game. “I couldn’t be more proud of this team.”

Peavy said the victory was even sweeter considering that his team dropped three games in a row earlier this season, despite starting at 3-0. 

“We truly learned something every week, win or lose,” Peavy said. “Not every team or player can do that. This is a special group.” 

The CYFL is the country’s largest independent youth football league and includes teams throughout the Chicago area and southern Wisconsin. The Big Ten Varsity class comprises mostly eighth-graders, who head to high school next school year with some extra pep in their step.

— Michael Romain 

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