ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – One of the region’s most storied football programs will not play this season.

Elmira Notre Dame High School will not field an 8-Man football team in 2022 as confirmed by Section IV Athletics on Thursday. Section IV cites low roster numbers for the Crusaders heading into the season.

The section also stated that efforts were made to merge Elmira Notre Dame players with nearby Edison High School and Elmira High School teams but were unsuccessful. Notre Dame does have the potential to comeback and play next year, pending player turnout.

The Crusaders went (1-5) last season and even forfeited a game at Lansing in 2021.

This tough news comes on the heels of Elmira Notre Dame football coaching legend Mike D’Aloisio’s passing in May. Coach D put Crusader football on the map and took the program to incredible heights and success.

D’Aloisio, the all-time Elmira football wins leader at 244, earned 12 Section IV football Championships, four regional crowns, and one Intersectional State Title in 1990. Coach’s final title season was with the 8-Man team who won a Section IV Championship in 2018.

In all, D’Aloisio’s career started as head coach in 1981. Along the way, Coach D guided and molded some of the area’s all-time greats in football at Elmira Notre Dame, like the late-great Joel Stephens.

Elmira Notre Dame football without question, has one of the most iconic histories in Twin Tiers. The lack of a season contributes to a growing trend in Section IV football with many smaller schools not being able to field full rosters.

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