Tiger gridders face early opener

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 14 March 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Running back Clay Johnson and his Lyndonville Tiger teammates are slated to open the semi pro football season in late May.

It truly will be spring football this season as the Lyndonville Tigers are scheduled for their earliest opener kicking off the Northeast Football Alliance campaign on May 31.

Set to begin their 11th season of competition, the Tigers are scheduled to face their oldest rival as Lyndonville will visit the Buffalo Gladiators in the opener.

The Tigers and Gladiators will be members of the now seven team West Division which also includes the Nicklel City Kings, Western New York Dragons, Southern Tier Diesel, Jamestown Chiefs and newcomer the Lockport Rampage.

The League also includes a six team East Division whose lineup includes the Troy Fighting Irish, Finger Lakes Impact, Watertown Revolution, Utica Yard Dogs, Ithaca Warriors and Oneida Stallions.

Rebounding from an 0-2 start, the Tigers rattled off eight straight victories last season to capture the West Division title.

“I think we will be in the top of the mix again,” said Tigers Owner Harold Suhr. “I think we’re the best team on our side.”

Suhr though is not enthusiastic about the seven team nature of the West Division which will result in in an unbalanced schedule and each team having two byes during the season .

“It will be interesting,” Suhr said. “You won’t play every team the same amount of times and there are a lot of bye weeks. It’s a long season.”

Following the opener at the Gladiators the preliminary league schedule also has Lyndonville road games at Jamestown on June 7, Lockport on July 12, Southern Tier on July 19 and Nickel City on August 16. The Tigers home games include Southern Tien on June 14, WNY Dragons on June 21, Jamestown on June 28, Nickel City on July 26 and the Gladiators on August 23.