Empire Football League

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Empire Football League
EFL logo.jpg
Empire Football League logo
SportAmerican football
Founded1969
No. of teams9 (6 active)
Country United States
 Canada
Most recent
champion(s)
Watertown Red & Black
Official websiteOfficial 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.[1]

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.

History[edit]

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.[2]The league held an emergency meeting when it was left with just the Seaway Valley Venom and the Glens Falls Greenjackets.[3]

The Hudson Valley Mountaineers joined the league in 2018.[4]

In 2018 Kevin Siska of the Glens Falls Greenjackets was inducted into the American Football Association Minor League Football Hall of Fame.[5]

Current teams[edit]

Prior franchises[edit]

  • 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[6]
  • Berkshire Mountaineers, Pittsfield MA Folded the end of the 1998 season,
  • Binghamton Jets
  • Broome County Dragons
  • Capitaland Thunder
  • Connecticut Chiefs
  • Glove Cities Colonials[6]
  • 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[7]
  • Triple Cities Jets, 1972 undefeated league champions (later reorganized as the Binghamton Jets)[8]
  • Syracuse Shock
  • Syracuse Storm
  • Syracuse Strong[9]
  • 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.[10][11]

Champions[edit]

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Marc, David (22 July 2015). "Leveling the Playing Field: The Story of the Syracuse Eight". Syracuse University Press – via Google Books.
  2. ^ "Red & Black Switch Leagues".
  3. ^ "Sports Wrap: Empire Football League & City Golf Title".
  4. ^ "Mountaineers bring semi-pro football to area".
  5. ^ tobey@poststar.com, PETE TOBEY. "Former Greenjacket QB Kevin Siska to join semipro Hall of Fame".
  6. ^ a b "Robinson, Sager inducted into national Hall of Fame - News, Sports, Jobs - Leader Herald". www.leaderherald.com.
  7. ^ (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.
  8. ^ Maggiore, Jim (16 September 2018). "Around Binghamton". Arcadia Publishing – via Google Books.
  9. ^ "There's a football team in Syracuse ranked No. 1 nationally (it's not the Orange)".
  10. ^ "Loftus helped R&B claim EFL title in '80".
  11. ^ News, Sporting (16 September 1980). "Football Register". Sporting News. – via Google Books.

External links[edit]