Red & Black Switch LeaguesPosted: Updated:
Watertown's semi-pro football team is going to play in a new league.
The Red & Black was part of the Empire Football League,(EFL), but head coach George Ashcraft told 7 News he was switching leagues because, he said, it appeared there would not be enough teams to have a full season this year.
"We need to be playing football," Ashcraft said Wednesday.
So Ashcraft started working the phones. He talked first with the Northeastern Football Alliance (NFA) - the league the Carthage Revolution team plays in - and then the World Football Federation, (WFF) a league of about 20 teams After some back-and-forth, Ashcraft said the Red & Black is joining the NFA, replacing a team that is no longer in the league. (Earlier, we reported here the team would join the WFF - that subsequently changed.)
The Red & Black will play its first game Saturday night against Rochester, at the fairgrounds in Watertown.
Ashcraft said he really wanted to be part of a league because of all that goes with it - standings, playoffs, maybe a championship - and running as an independent was less attractive to him.
As for the future of the Empire Football League, Ashcraft said "I have no idea."
The head of the Empire Football League told 7 News Wednesday the EFL will still operate this year. In addition, the owner of the Seaway Valley team, which had been part of the EFL, said his team plans to play two games this year, with about 15 players.