Working in tandem with the Cleveland Muny Football League, the Cleveland Browns have demonstrated their commitment to enhancing the opportunities for youth and high school football throughout Cleveland, Ohio with year-round programming for players, coaches, officials and parents.
Established in 1919, The Cleveland Muny Football League is an integral piece to the success of youth and high school football across Cleveland. To acknowledge and support their efforts, the Browns have camps, clinics and other initiatives to assist the development, safety and growth of the sport.
Cleveland Browns field projects have been a vital contributor in the mission to engage youth athletes during the school year and throughout the summer. In 2016, the Haslam and Johnson families and Browns Give Back launched a long-term, first of its kind initiative to install synthetic turf fields for communities across Northeast Ohio. Since then, 14 fields have been installed, including five fields at Cleveland Metropolitan School District sites.
The Field projects reflect the Stay in the Game and Browns Give Back mission to impact youth football in the community. The "outdoor classrooms" are meant to support attendance, increase physical activity, and encourage engagement across students and the broader community. Each year, the Browns return to those fields and host LEGENDS Clinics with Browns alumni and local high school football coaches who offer tips and hands-on instruction, including lectures, fundamental football skills stations, contents, and non-contact games in a high-energy, fun, positive environment. This summer, over 1,500 athletes participated in 14 clinics over the course of five weeks.
In connection with the 2023 Cleveland Browns Training Camp and Play Football Month this past August, the Cleveland Muny Football League was heavily involved across all levels of Browns youth football programming from flag football, rookie tackle and 11-man.
To help launch Browns Training Camp on Aug. 1, the Browns hosted the first-ever Jr. Browns Classic, a one-day, four-team single elimination flag football tournament. Young athletes from the 12u Cleveland Muny Football League – including the Richmond Heights Conquerors, Garden Valley Falcons, Maple Heights Saints and Glenville Elite Panthers – put their skills to the test on the field.
The Glenville Elite Panthers emerged as the tournament's champions, earning custom championship jerseys and swag bags presented by Browns' tight end David Njoku, while the Richmond Heights conquerors received swag bags from wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones. To surprise the young athletes, Browns' quarterback Deshaun Watson, wide receiver Elijah Moore, quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and defensive tackle Siaki Ika also made an appearance to congratulate the teams for their outstanding performances.
The Jr. Browns Classic showcased the immense potential and talent of young athletes in the Cleveland area, while adding a new layer of excitement to training camp. The event was a success and a testament to the Browns' commitment to promoting the sport of football among young players through the Jr. Browns flag football program.
In similar fashion, Browns youth football also hosted a Rookie Tackle Clinic at CrossCountry Mortgage campus for athletes spanning across ten different leagues. During this training session, athletes sharpened their skills as they worked on all the fundamentals, from passing and kicking to blocking and defense. Following the clinic, all athletes gathered in the end zone for a major surprise when the Cleveland Browns and University Hospitals Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Jacob Calcei revealed 200 custom Xenith helmets, decked out with stripes and logos. The 10 teams in attendance, including two Cleveland Muny League teams, each received 20 helmets for their Rookie Tackle teams.
Rounding out the summer, the Browns Commanders preseason game on Aug. 10 served as a platform for promoting youth football in Cleveland. As part of the Play Football Month celebration, dozens of tickets were distributed among Cleveland Muny football teams, providing them with an exciting opportunity to attend the game and witness their idols in action.
"The Cleveland Browns have been a huge blessing to the Cleveland Muny Football League over the years and we have developed a partnership that satisfies our ultimate goal and that's confidence in our kids," said Director of Cleveland Muny Football League, Jason Dunn. "The Browns commitment to the Cleveland community and in particular the Cleveland Muny Football League means so much to us because it brings the kids and coaches closer to the pro game and creates once in a lifetime opportunities that will follow our student athletes for the rest of their lives."
Throughout the year, the Browns will continue to identify opportunities to give back to the community and support the development of youth football with Cleveland Muny Football League and other pioneering organizations.