Chambersburg Cardinals
Founded 1946
Stadium Trojan Stadium
Based in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
Team Colors Red, White, Black
League [1] Gridiron Developmental Football League
Local Media The Public Opinion
Head Coach Chad Fauson
General Manager Gary Gelsinger

The Chambersburg Cardinals are a Professional American football team based in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The team has had several incarnations since the first team hit the field in 1946. The current incarnation began play in 2002 and plays in the [2] GDFL


Independent YearsEdit

The Cardinals began in 1946 as an independent team playing in Henninger Field. They played from 1946-1955 posting a 70-17-6 record, before folding due to difficulty scheduling quality teams. Their main rival during these early years were the Waynesboro Tigers.[1]

Joining a LeagueEdit

The second incarnation of the Cardinals entered the Interstate Football League as an expansion team in 1968. They played in the IFL until 1971 when a portion of the IFL, including Chambersburg, merged with the Mason-Dixon Football League to become the Seaboard Football League-- a league that held, among other teams, the Hartford Knights, Long Island Chiefs and New England Colonials, who were, or would move to, the Atlantic Coast Football League in 1973.[2] They went on to win the league crown in 1973 (when some of the better teams left for the ACFL) before the team and league folded midseason in 1974.[3] A major reason behind the folding was community resentment following a home game against the Colonials in which the stadium lights failed and 4,000 fans were sent home without a refund.

King Corcoran played for the Cardinals in 1972, after the Cardinals offered him a starting job.[4] Corcoran had played for the Montreal Alouettes but refused to take a job as a backup.[5] Corcoran left for the Philadelphia Bell of the World Football League in 1974.

An Era of ChampionsEdit

The Cardinals resumed play once more in 1976, rejoining the Interstate Football League. In 1978 the teams had a 14-0 record and averaged over 48 points per game, no one challenged them for the national championship. That same year the Cardinals cousin, the Franklin County Minutemen, joined the Mason-Dixon Football League and captured the title. In 1980 the Cardinals were named national co-champions by Pro-Football Weekly alongside the Pierce County Bengals after a 16-0 season. In 1982, the Cardinals defeated the Chicago Lions in the championship game held at Trojan Stadium while being watched by over 5,000 fans. Between 1977 and 1984, the Cardinals won 72 straight games, including five perfect seasons, a record for noncollegiate football,[6] although there is a record of at least one loss in that time frame, to the Racine Gladiators in the 1981 Minor Professional Football League championship.[7] By the mid 1990s however, the Cardinals folded once more.

The Current TeamEdit

The current team was born in 2010, when an investment group saw an opportunity with the existing trend in American Outdoor football. In 2007, NFL Europe folded and created a lack of placement for quality players. The talk of creating a farm system in the United States became a top issue for the NFL. The investment group felt that Chambersburg would be a great place to start such a team. They could look back through history and see how Chambersburg supported a semi-pro team called the Chambersburg Cardinals. The Cardinals went through many different phases. In the beginning, the Cardinals were labeled as an adult amateur team because of the local players just wanting to play football after high school was over. This went on up until 1969. In 1970 the team status changed to semi-pro where they recruited players and got them jobs and housing. This continued through the 70's and 80's. In the 90's, Arena Football and NFL Europe came on the scene. At that point, semi-pro football lost most quality players, and it returned to the local player adult amateur status. There were many debates while creating this new professional team. The biggest debate was whether to have a new name for the area or acquire the Cardinals name. The investment group embraced the history of the Cardinals and decided to acquire it. In 2010, the Cardinals recruited heavily and had over 20 players from around the country come to live in Chambersburg for the football season. Building from scratch, the team began a rise into its current position. The Cardinals, while in the Big North East Football Federation, won the league title in 2010. From all the different statues, the Cardinals have held, from adult amateur, to semi-pro, to now professional, Chambersburg has been an American Football league champion a total of 12 times.

Brief Stint in the AIFLEdit

In 2006, after a reorganization of the American Indoor Football League that saw the departure of the Syracuse Soldiers, the Cardinals were asked to fill two holes in the schedule. In their first game against the nearby Johnstown Riverhawks, the Cardinals lost by a score of 68 to 0,[8] billed as the first shutout in AIFL history, although, since it was an AIFL team against a non-AIFL team, that would not be a fair comparison. Their second game against league powerhouse Reading Express had a similar result, a 74-0 loss. The AIFL declared that all records set against the Cardinals and the Ghostchasers, a team hastily established to fill the schedule of another team, the Carolina Ghostriders (which, in turn, had been hastily assembled to fill the schedule of yet another team the year before), would be marked with an asterisk. [9]

The games referenced were not, nor ever meant to be, anything other than scrimmages for the Cardinals. Both opponents considered them real games but the Cardinals used them as a way to judge new players since they were unable to obtain scrimmages with other teams. It should also be noted that the Cardinals were out of season, as the NAFL is a summer/fall league and the AIFL played in spring, and were likely unprepared for a full-contact game.


  1. Goodwin, Lee (2011-04-04). 60 years later, broadcast of football game available on CD. The Record-Herald. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
  2. "Interstate League Survives Defection Of Five Elevens", Baltimore Sun, March 24, 1971, pC2; "Washington Generals Join Forces With New Seaboard Football League", Washington (PA) Observer-Reporter, March 23, 1971, pB-8
  3. Bob Gill, with Steve Brainerd and Tod Maher, Minor League Football, 1960-85 (McFarland and Co., 2002), pp84, 99-100
  4. "Corcoran great or 'a bum'", Reading (PA) Eagle, November 5, 1972, p75.
  5. Simpson signs with Bills, Eugene Register-Guard, July 29, 1972.
  6. Steven Brainerd (2010). Minor league football records - Winning streaks.
  9. "AIFL preserving integrity of records." AIFL press release (June 2006). Page no longer online.
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