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Empire Football League
100px
Empire Football League logo
SportAmerican football
Founded1969
No. of teams9 (6 active)
Country(ies)Flag of the United States.svg.png United States
Flag of Canada.svg.png Canada
Most recent champion(s)Hudson Valley Mountaineers
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.

HistoryEdit

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 teamsEdit

Prior franchisesEdit

  • 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

YearChampion teamDefeated team
1969Hudson Falls Greenjackets (no game)
1970Triple Cities JetsHudson Vikings
1971Lackawanna County Eagles (9-1-0)Tri-Cities Jets (9-1-0), 26 to 13 (@ Scranton, 10/30/71)
1972Tri-Cities Jets (10-0-0)Lackawanna County Eagles (8-2-0) (@ Binghamton)
1973Oneonta Indians (no game)
1974Glove Cities Colonials(no game)
1975Oneonta IndiansAlbany Metro Mallers
1976Hudson Falls GreenjacketsAlbany Metro Mallers
1977Troy Uncle SammiesGlove Cities Colonials
1978Troy Uncle SammiesHudson Falls Greenjackets
1979Albany Metro MallersTroy Uncle Sammies
1980Watertown Red & BlackTroy Uncle Sammies
1981Binghamton JetsGlens Falls Greenjackets
1982Scranton EaglesGlens Falls Greenjackets
1983Scranton EaglesGlens Falls Greenjackets
1984Scranton EaglesGlens Falls Greenjackets
1985Syracuse ExpressGlens Falls Greenjackets
1986Scranton EaglesSyracuse Express
1987Scranton EaglesAlbany Metro Mallers
1988Scranton EaglesOttawa Bootleggers
1989Albany Metro MallersScranton Eagles
1990Scranton EaglesAlbany Metro Mallers
1991Scranton EaglesMontreal Voyaguers
1992Newburgh RaidersScranton Eagles
1993Newburgh RaidersScranton Eagles
1994Scranton EaglesNewburgh Raiders
1995Newburgh RaidersSyracuse Storm
1996Newburgh RaidersColumbia County Colts
1997Binghamton JetsCapitaland Thunder
1998Kingston PanthersConnecticut Chiefs
1999Scranton EaglesKingston Panthers
2000Syracuse VipersScranton Eagles
2001Syracuse VipersScranton Eagles
2002Orange County BulldogsGlen Falls Greenjackets
2003Glens Falls GreenjacketsWatertown Red & Black
2004Glens Falls GreenjackersAlbany Metro Mallers
2005Albany Metro Mallers 33Orange County Bulldogs 0
2006Albany Metro Mallers 39Watertown Red & Black 0
2007Vermont Ice Storm 9Watertown Red & Black 8
2008Quebec Titans 12Vermont Ice Storm 10
2009Watertown Red & Black 6Plattsburgh North Stars 0
2010Plattsburgh North Stars 13Watertown Red & Black 10
2011Albany 29Syracuse Shock 14
2012Rochester Sting 38Plattsburgh North Stars 22

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Marc, David (22 July 2015). "Leveling the Playing Field: The Story of the Syracuse Eight". Syracuse University Press. https://books.google.com/books?id=04H3CgAAQBAJ&pg=PA251&dq=%22empire+football+league%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwinkrPDw77dAhUIiqwKHX_mBjAQ6AEIQTAE#v=onepage&q=%22empire+football+league%22&f=false.
  2. "Red & Black Switch Leagues". http://www.wwnytv.com/story/35612225/red-black-scramble-to-find-league-games.
  3. "Sports Wrap: Empire Football League & City Golf Title". http://www.wwnytv.com/story/35800696/sports-wrap-empire-football-league-city-golf-title.
  4. "Mountaineers bring semi-pro football to area". http://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/hudson-valley/sports/2018/07/04/mountaineers-bring-semi-pro-football-to-hudson-valley.
  5. tobey@poststar.com, PETE TOBEY. "Former Greenjacket QB Kevin Siska to join semipro Hall of Fame". https://poststar.com/sports/former-greenjacket-qb-kevin-siska-to-join-semipro-hall-of/article_6fa642bc-88f0-5c8b-b371-d431355c5c64.html.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Robinson, Sager inducted into national Hall of Fame - News, Sports, Jobs - Leader Herald". http://www.leaderherald.com/sports/local-sports/2018/07/robinson-sager-inducted-into-national-hall-of-fame/.
  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. https://books.google.com/books?id=aduIg6uKm14C&q=%22empire+football+league%22&dq=%22empire+football+league%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiw_OOQyb7dAhUOS60KHQC4CPc4ChDoAQgtMAE.
  8. Maggiore, Jim (16 September 2018). "Around Binghamton". Arcadia Publishing. https://books.google.com/books?id=Xp6PDQAAQBAJ&pg=PA91&dq#v=onepage&q&f=false.
  9. "There's a football team in Syracuse ranked No. 1 nationally (it's not the Orange)". https://www.syracuse.com/poliquin/index.ssf/2016/10/theres_a_football_team_in_syracuse_ranked_no_1_nationally_its_not_the_orange.html.
  10. "Loftus helped R&B claim EFL title in '80". http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20080623/SPORTS01/72290949.
  11. News, Sporting (16 September 1980). "Football Register". Sporting News.. https://books.google.com/books?id=LogTAQAAIAAJ&q=%22empire+football+league%22&dq=%22empire+football+league%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwinkrPDw77dAhUIiqwKHX_mBjAQ6AEIXDAK.

External links Edit

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