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The Vermont Ice Storm joined the Empire Football League prior to the 2006 season. The Empire Football League is rated as AAA by the American Football Association and Minor League Football News and thus features teams competing at the highest level of competition available in amateur football. In previous years, the league has consisted of teams from New York State, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Quebec, and Ontario.
Empire Football League Mission:
A: To provide a football league that fosters and facilitates amateur tackle football training and competitions regionally, nationally, and internationally
B: To support the growth of amateur football regionally, nationally, and internationally
C: To organize, coordinate, and support football games with other regional, national, and international; football teams and leagues
D: To train, educate, and promote football players who desire to play on regional, national, and international football teams
E: To publish information which discusses subjects described in (a) through (d) above.
The EFL began operation in 1969. The five original teams were located around the Albany, NY area. Teams from Hudson, Cohoes, Troy, Poughkeepsie, and Hudson Falls took the field the first season with Hudson Fall becoming the first league champion.
The league added three franchises and split into two divisions in for its second year. From that point forward, the Empire Football League flourished. As the league began to gain a reputation for featuring great competition, teams from across the Northeast joined.
In recent years, the league has consisted of teams from New York State, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Quebec, and Ontario.
It is also interesting to note that EFL member Watertown Red & Black are the oldest semi-pro football team in the United States, they are in the NFL Hall of Fame and they are older than the Green Bay Packers. The team started in 1896, played in the World Championship in 1903 and was EFL Champion in 1981 (ranked nationally #2). The Red & Black now play at their own football field which is part of the Jefferson County Fairgrounds Sports Complex.
The Vermont Ice Storm have played for the championship multiple seasons, and won the EFL title in 2007.
For years, the EFL has been recognized as one of the top leagues in the world of semi-pro football. With strong franchises and experienced management, the league should continue to provide players and fans with a top notch product for many years to come.