Empire Football League
Empire Football League logo
|No. of teams||9 (6 active)|
|Country|| United States|
|Watertown Red & Black|
|Official website||Official Site|
The Empire Football League (EFL) is a semi-professional American football league with franchises based primarily in New York State. The league was established in 1969. Many franchises have come and gone including in locations such as Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Connecticut as well as Quebec, Montreal, and Ontario in Canada. In 2018 the league included six teams: the Glens Falls Greenjackets, Hudson Valley Mountaineers, Plattsburgh North Stars, Seaway Valley Venom, Tri City Spartans, and Utica Yard Dogs.
Ray Seals transitioned from the EFL to the National Football League (NFL) in 1989. Several members of the Syracuse 8 that challenged disparities for African Americans at Syracuse University's football program played for the Tri City Jets of Binghamton, New York. The team was a farm team for the New York Jets at the time and some of them went for a tryout with the Jets, but according to one of them they understood they had no chance when Jets coach Weeb Ewbank identified them as "those boys from Syracuse" during roll call.
The league's most dominant team has been the Scranton Eagles who have won a record 11 championships, 10 of those coming between the years 1982 and 1994. The league competed with the Northeastern Football Alliance and World Football League.
In 1989 Ray Seals transitioned from the EFL's Syracuse Express to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the National Football League (NFL). As a linebacker he blocked the pass from Brett Favre that Favre caught for his very first completion in the NFL.
Due to complications stemming from the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, all Canadian teams were removed from the league beginning in the 2010 season (at the time, the Quebec Titans and the Ottawa Deacon Demons (Joliet Chargers) were in the league).
The Watertown Red and Black left the league in 2017 when the EFL was down to two teams.The league held an emergency meeting when it was left with just the Seaway Valley Venom and the Glens Falls Greenjackets.
The Hudson Valley Mountaineers joined the league in 2018.
In 2018 Kevin Siska of the Glens Falls Greenjackets was inducted into the American Football Association Minor League Football Hall of Fame.
- Glens Falls Greenjackets of Glens Falls, New York
- Hudson Valley Mountaineers of Middletown, Orange County, New York
- Plattsburgh North Stars of Plattsburgh, New York
- Seaway Valley Venom of Massena, New York
- Tri City Spartans of Schenectady, New York
- Utica Yard Dogs of Utica, New York
- Albany Metro Mallers, played in the now defunct Seaboard Football League and World Football League prior to joining the EFL. Won EFL league championships in 2005 and 2006.
- Amsterdam Zephyrs
- Berkshire Mountaineers, Pittsfield MA Folded the end of the 1998 season,
- Binghamton Jets
- Broome County Dragons
- Capitaland Thunder
- Connecticut Chiefs
- Glove Cities Colonials
- Hudson Vikings
- Kingston Panthers
- Massena Silver and Black Raiders
- Montreal Voyaguers
- New York Stallions
- Newburgh Raiders
- Oneonta Indians
- Orange County Bulldogs
- Ottawa Demon Deacons
- Quebec Titans
- Rochester Sting
- Scranton Eagles
- Triple Cities Jets, 1972 undefeated league champions (later reorganized as the Binghamton Jets)
- Syracuse Shock
- Syracuse Storm
- Syracuse Strong
- Troy Uncle Sammies
- Vermont Ice Storm
- Watertown Red & Black, 1972 Watertown High School graduate Mark Loftus helped the Red & Black win their first EFL title in 1980.
|Year||Champion team||Defeated team|
|1969||Hudson Falls Greenjackets||(no game)|
|1970||Triple Cities Jets||Hudson Vikings|
|1971||Lackawanna County Eagles (9-1-0)||Tri-Cities Jets (9-1-0), 26 to 13 (@ Scranton, 10/30/71)|
|1972||Tri-Cities Jets (10-0-0)||Lackawanna County Eagles (8-2-0) (@ Binghamton)|
|1973||Oneonta Indians||(no game)|
|1974||Glove Cities Colonials||(no game)|
|1975||Oneonta Indians||Albany Metro Mallers|
|1976||Hudson Falls Greenjackets||Albany Metro Mallers|
|1977||Troy Uncle Sammies||Glove Cities Colonials|
|1978||Troy Uncle Sammies||Hudson Falls Greenjackets|
|1979||Albany Metro Mallers||Troy Uncle Sammies|
|1980||Watertown Red & Black||Troy Uncle Sammies|
|1981||Binghamton Jets||Glens Falls Greenjackets|
|1982||Scranton Eagles||Glens Falls Greenjackets|
|1983||Scranton Eagles||Glens Falls Greenjackets|
|1984||Scranton Eagles||Glens Falls Greenjackets|
|1985||Syracuse Express||Glens Falls Greenjackets|
|1986||Scranton Eagles||Syracuse Express|
|1987||Scranton Eagles||Albany Metro Mallers|
|1988||Scranton Eagles||Ottawa Bootleggers|
|1989||Albany Metro Mallers||Scranton Eagles|
|1990||Scranton Eagles||Albany Metro Mallers|
|1991||Scranton Eagles||Montreal Voyaguers|
|1992||Newburgh Raiders||Scranton Eagles|
|1993||Newburgh Raiders||Scranton Eagles|
|1994||Scranton Eagles||Newburgh Raiders|
|1995||Newburgh Raiders||Syracuse Storm|
|1996||Newburgh Raiders||Columbia County Colts|
|1997||Binghamton Jets||Capitaland Thunder|
|1998||Kingston Panthers||Connecticut Chiefs|
|1999||Scranton Eagles||Kingston Panthers|
|2000||Syracuse Vipers||Scranton Eagles|
|2001||Syracuse Vipers||Scranton Eagles|
|2002||Orange County Bulldogs||Glen Falls Greenjackets|
|2003||Glens Falls Greenjackets||Watertown Red & Black|
|2004||Glens Falls Greenjackers||Albany Metro Mallers|
|2005||Albany Metro Mallers 33||Orange County Bulldogs 0|
|2006||Albany Metro Mallers 39||Watertown Red & Black 0|
|2007||Vermont Ice Storm 9||Watertown Red & Black 8|
|2008||Quebec Titans 12||Vermont Ice Storm 10|
|2009||Watertown Red & Black 6||Plattsburgh North Stars 0|
|2010||Plattsburgh North Stars 13||Watertown Red & Black 10|
|2011||Albany 29||Syracuse Shock 14|
|2012||Rochester Sting 38||Plattsburgh North Stars 22|
- Marc, David (22 July 2015). "Leveling the Playing Field: The Story of the Syracuse Eight". Syracuse University Press – via Google Books.
- "Red & Black Switch Leagues".
- "Sports Wrap: Empire Football League & City Golf Title".
- "Mountaineers bring semi-pro football to area".
- email@example.com, PETE TOBEY. "Former Greenjacket QB Kevin Siska to join semipro Hall of Fame".
- "Robinson, Sager inducted into national Hall of Fame - News, Sports, Jobs - Leader Herald". www.leaderherald.com.
- (Firm), Thomson Gale (16 September 2018). "Cities of the United States: A Compilation of Current Information on Economic, Cultural, Geographic, and Social Conditions". Thomson Gale – via Google Books.
- Maggiore, Jim (16 September 2018). "Around Binghamton". Arcadia Publishing – via Google Books.
- "There's a football team in Syracuse ranked No. 1 nationally (it's not the Orange)".
- "Loftus helped R&B claim EFL title in '80".
- News, Sporting (16 September 1980). "Football Register". Sporting News. – via Google Books.