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Elmira Notre Dame Moving to Eight-Man Football

Crusaders low numbers create new era

ELMIRA, N.Y. (18 SPORTS) - A big change is coming to Elmira Notre Dame football in 2018. 

The Crusaders, a storied program in the Twin Tiers, will drop from eleven-man football to the eight-man game starting this season. Due to low turnout numbers, Elmira Notre Dame head coach Mike D'Aloisio believes that this is the best move for the school and the program. 

D'Aloisio, who's been coaching the Crusaders since 1981, told 18 Sports that the team hasn't had a true feeder program in 15 years without a junior varsity team. A total of 20 players signed up for varsity this season, but with only a few reserve players, Notre Dame made the decision to drop to eight-man due to potential injuries and unforeseen circumstances of losing players. 

A minimum of 16 players is required for for the eleven-man game for a season, while the eight-man game requires only 12 for the year. 

Notre Dame has won four Section IV titles and earned a New York State Intersectional Championship in 1990. Legendary players like Joel Stephens, Bob Grosvenor, Mike Bennett and Corey Kilpatrick and more graced Brewer Stadium in Southport for years. Their play in the eleven-man game shined throughout the Twin Tiers and will go down in history. 

Next year, D'Aloisio did mention that the school would evaluate the eleven-man game if numbers were to improve. The first scheduled game of the season will be released in the coming weeks for Elmira Notre Dame as they usher in a new era of high school football.  




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