Usually when the weather heats up, you’ll thinking about baseball season. Perhaps the NBA or NHL playoffs? Football?
Normally, people snicker at the fact of Arena Football, but it’s not the topic of today’s post. No, today’s post is about a football league with the majority of the teams in Ohio that play outdoors. A league that started up in 2009, plays by the rules that the NFL abide by, and currently has two commissioners (one for each division)?
It’s the Heartland Football League. The HFL currently has 24 teams, 12 each in the North and South Division and then further split up into smaller divisions (Red, White, and Blue.) Most teams are located in Ohio, as previously mentioned, but there are a few out of the state. There is the Pittsburgh Pride, along with a couple of Kentucky teams.
Most teams are in or nearby Akron, Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Dayton. There’s been some teams combining and entering the Heartland Football League during this off-season.
The KY/OH Extreme reformed into the Northern Kentucky Bull Dogs (yes, two words) by 700 WLW host Eric Deters. The Ohio Valley Warriors, who were the Miami Valley Warriors and played Wright State’s club team twice in the spring, have merged with the Mid-Ohio Jets to create the Ohio Eagles, who will still play at Bellbrook according to another teams website. Unfortunately, there is no website up yet for the Eagles and this tidbit of info comes from the new team on the block, the Kings Comets.
Originally from the Mid-Continental Football League, the Comets will play at Sycamore High School instead of Mason High School (where the name Comets comes from) and Kings High School (see the name of the team.) If you’re familiar with those two schools or the area, that used to be a huge rivalry since they’re right next to each other (cities/districts/same conference, not the actual schools themselves.)
The Midwest Panthers got a new name and are now known as the River City Night Hawks. It also appears that the Southwest Seminoles, who played at Lebanon High School, might have a new home field at Clinton-Massie High School (according to the Kings Comets website, since the ‘noles website has not been updated since last season.)
I’m not sure about the status of the Mount Carmel Fire, since their website is suspended. This is a problem with some websites, where either they haven’t updated since last season or are no longer active. According to the final standings of 2010, the Fire were not existent in the HFL. Yes, the picture is of the Mount Carmel football helmets from the league website.
I recommend you football fans to give one game a try. Tickets are fairly cheap (the Bull Dogs have tickets listed as $7, other teams will vary.) The players are not paid in the league, since they are younger and some still in college and looking for a way up into the ranks. The season usually starts around late May or early June.
So if you’re looking for some outdoor football before the NFL starts up again, give one of these games a try. There’s a team near you.
Source of information from the Heartland Football League website and a few teams websites.
Until next time,