By Mike Wertman
Medina Journal-Register — Several new opponents and a new division alignment are on the schedule for the Lyndonville Tigers when they begin their 10th season of semi pro football competition in early June.
With the league expanding from 12 to 16 teams, the Northeast Football Alliance will now be split into four four-team divisions.
The Tigers will be in the West ‘A’ Division along with their long-time rival Buffalo Gladiators and two new Buffalo based opponents, the Nickel City Kings and Western New York Dragons.
Lyndonville will play each of those three foes home and and away and will also face each of the West ‘B’ Division teams once. That quartet of teams includes holdovers Southern Tier Diesel, Southern Tier Warriors and Jamestown Chiefs along with newcomer Chautauqua County Stampede.
“It will help reduce our travel because we will be playing teams in the area,” said Tigers linebacker and captain Joey Suhr.
The other big change is the switch of the Finger Lakes Impact, which has been Lyndonville’s biggest division title challenger the past two years, from the West to the East Division.
The Impact will be with holdovers the Watertown Revolution and Cortland Bulldogs and newcomer North Country Bucks in the East ‘A’ Division while the Troy Fighting Irish, Utica Yarddogs, Oneonta Stallions and Glove City Colinials will be in the East ‘B’” Division.
“It will be a little tougher,” said Tigers owner/coach Harold Suhr who noted that the league has not yet decided on how the playoffs will be set up.
Lyndonville is scheduled to open the season on June 1 at the Buffalo Gladiators. The Tigers home opener at the Pembroke Town Park is set for June 15 against the WNY Dragons, The other home games will be June 22 vs. Jamestown Chiefs, July 13 vs. Chautauqua County Stampede, July 27 vs. Gladiators and Aug. 3 vs. Nickel City Kings. The remainder of the road schedule includes June 8 at Kings, June 29 at Southern Tier Warriors, July 20 at Southern Tier Diesel and Aug. 10 at Dragons.
Lyndonville went 8-1-1 during the regular season last year and finished at 8-2-1 after dropping a narrow 36-29 decision to the Gladiators in the first round of the playoffs.
“We had a lot of injuries late last year which hurt ,” Suhr said. “We’re looking to have a good competitive team again but we’re always looking for new playes and new talent.”
The Tigers are slated to begin practice on April 6 at Pembroke Town Park and have a pre season contest scheduled for May 18 at Pembroke against the North Country Bucks.