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History

2008 -

The inaugural season for the NORTHERN ELITE FOOTBALL LEAGUE brings teams together from eastern Minnesota & Wisconsin.  Eight teams play together split between East / West Divisions.

  • Chippewa Valley Predators
  • Eau Claire Crush
  • Superior Stampede
  • Central Wisconsin Panthers
  • Green Bay Gladiators
  • Upper Peninsula Arctic Blast
  • East Metro Phoenix
  • Northwest Wisconsin Wolverines

The Eau Claire Crush & Superior Stampede each go undefeated in league play, setting up what looks like a great Elite Bowl!

After escaping the Predators by 6-points in the Semi Finals, the Superior Stampede take care of the Eau Claire Crush 27-14 to win ELITE BOWL I.




2009 -

Northern Elite Football League is expanding to 10 teams for its' second season, adding the Fox Valley Force & Northeast Wisconsin Storm.  East Metro Phoenix are re-branding to Minnesota Phoenix & Central Wisconsin Panthers to Central Wisconsin Spartans.

  • Chippewa Valley Predators
  • Eau Claire Crush
  • Superior Stampede
  • Central Wisconsin Spartans
  • Green Bay Gladiators
  • Upper Peninsula Arctic Blast
  • Minnesota Phoenix
  • Northwest Wisconsin Wolverines
  • Fox Valley Force
  • Northeast Wisconsin Storm

The Chippewa Valley Predators & Fox Valley Force each win their respective Divisions, earning a first round bye in the playoffs; as the Predators went through unbeaten.

After comfortable wins in each of their Semi Final games, the Chippewa Valley Predators win their first Elite Bowl, narrowly holding off the Fox Valley Force in a defensive battle 14-7.




2010 -

Expansion continues for the Northern Elite Football League adding 3 more teams; the St Paul Pioneers, South Metro Dragons, and Rochester Giants.  The Northwest Wisconsin Wolverines no longer exist, so the NEFL will have 12 teams.  Northeast Wisconsin Storm are re-branding to Kimberly Storm & Superior Stampede to Twin Ports Stampede.

  • Chippewa Valley Predators
  • Eau Claire Crush
  • Twin Ports Stampede
  • Central Wisconsin Spartans
  • Green Bay Gladiators
  • Upper Peninsula Arctic Blast
  • Minnesota Phoenix
  • Fox Valley Force
  • Kimberly Storm
  • St Paul Pioneers
  • Rochester Giants
  • South Metro Dragons

With 3 divisions, the NEFL playoffs moved to a league Seeded playoffs; three teams finished with 7-win seasons, as the Predators look to Repeat as the #1 seed.  New members South Metro Dragons (#4) & St Paul Pioneers (#5) each earn a bid in the playoff field.

After dropping two 3-point regular season games, the Pioneers were able to upset the Dragons 17-12 in the first round, followed by knocking off the undefeated champion Chippewa Valley in the Semi Finals 16-14.  Setting up Elite Bowl III where the St Paul Pioneers defeated the Fox Valley Force 27-10.




2011 -

The NEFL remains at 12 teams, but to better balance travel & playoffs, there will be two Conferences & 4 Divisions.  Twin Ports Stampede are changing to Lake Superior Rage, while South Metro Dragons are re-branding as Minnesota Dragons. 

  • Chippewa Valley Predators
  • Eau Claire Crush
  • Lake Superior Rage
  • Central Wisconsin Spartans
  • Green Bay Gladiators
  • Fox Valley Force
  • Kimberly Storm
  • St Paul Pioneers
  • Rochester Giants
  • Minnesota Dragons
  • River City Rough Riders
  • Menomonie Thunderhawks

There is an addition of 2 teams; Menomonie Thunderhawks & River City Rough Riders, taking the place of the Phoenix & Arctic Blast.

Dragons & Force each earn the First Round bye in their Conference.  Though the Giants were (3-5), by winning the South Division they get into the playoffs over the (5-3) Rage.

The first round bye had no affect for the Dragons & Force, as they both lose their semi final games; setting up the past two Champions, Pioneers & Predators for the title.  St Paul Pioneers win Elite Bowl IV 15-0 over the Predators, becoming the first team to win Back to Back Titles.




2012 -

The NEFL expands to 13 teams, so decided to go again with 3 divisions.  The Minnesota Spartans are added as the 13th team, playing in the Western Division. 

  • Chippewa Valley Predators
  • Eau Claire Crush
  • Lake Superior Rage
  • Central Wisconsin Spartans
  • Green Bay Gladiators
  • Fox Valley Force
  • Kimberly Storm
  • St Paul Pioneers
  • Rochester Giants
  • Minnesota Dragons
  • River City Rough Riders
  • Menomonie Thunderhawks
  • Minnesota Spartans

Lake Superior Rage went undefeated and won the tie-breaker over undefeated St Paul Pioneers to get the #1 seed. Teams fell in-line from there with MN Spartans claiming the #6 seed.

The St Paul Pioneers go wire-to-wire in dominating fashion in their Three-peat as NEFL Champions.




2013 -

Northern Elite Football League will play 2013 with 9 teams; losing the Gladiators, Storm, Giants, Dragons, & MN Spartans.  North Bank Bulls are a new team, joining the NEFL.

  • Chippewa Valley Predators
  • Eau Claire Crush
  • Lake Superior Rage
  • Central Wisconsin Spartans
  • Fox Valley Force
  • St Paul Pioneers
  • River City Rough Riders
  • Menomonie Thunderhawks
  • North Bank Bulls

Fox Valley Force earn the #1 seed with only 1-loss; as Pioneers, Predators, & Rage split the Tie-Breaker for 2-4 seeds.

Home Teams prevail in the first round, setting up great matchups the rest of the way.  St Paul Pioneers make it 4-in-a-row with a 21-0 shutout over the Lake Superior Rage in Elite Bowl VI.




2014 -

2014 grows to 10 teams, so will have a Minnesota Division & a Wisconsin Division with the addition of the 2x Champion Minnesota Sting & Twin Cities Titans out of the MPFL.

  • Chippewa Valley Predators
  • Eau Claire Crush
  • Lake Superior Rage
  • Fox Valley Force
  • St Paul Pioneers
  • River City Rough Riders
  • Menomonie Thunderhawks
  • North Bank Bulls
  • Minnesota Sting
  • Twin Cities Titans

Central WI Spartans no longer exist.

Minnesota Sting enjoy success their first year in the league, only losing to the Pioneers during regular season play.  Chippewa Valley Predators have a losing record, failing to make the playoffs for the first time; ending the longest playoff streak in the NEFL.

Thunderhawks & Bulls pick up their first NEFL playoff wins, with North Bank upsetting the Sting.  The St Paul Pioneers would squeak out two 6-point wins to claim their 5th straight Elite Bowl!




2015 -

Teams remained relatively the same for 2015, with only the loss of the Rage & Crush.

  • Fox Valley Force
  • Chippewa Valley Predators
  • St Paul Pioneers
  • Menomonie Thunderhawks
  • River City Rough Riders
  • North Bank Bulls
  • Minnesota Sting
  • Twin Cities Titans

Pioneers went undefeated earning the #1 seed in the West, while the Predators won the tiebreaker over the Rough Riders for the #1 seed & bye in the East.  The Thunderhawks made the playoffs over the Force based on tie-breaker as well, with the Bulls & Sting facing-off in a rubber match in the first round. 

The season ended the same as the previous 5 years, with the St Paul Pioneers winning Elite Bowl VIII.




2016 -

NEFL added up-start Minnesota Valley Warriors, along with Mankato Brawlers from the NSFL for the 2016 season.

  • Fox Valley Force
  • Chippewa Valley Predators
  • St Paul Pioneers
  • Menomonie Thunderhawks
  • River City Rough Riders
  • North Bank Bulls
  • Minnesota Sting
  • Minnesota Valley Warriors
  • Mankato Brawlers

The Twin Cities Titans did not field a team for 2016.

North Bank Bulls & St Paul Pioneers split the season series, with the Pioneers winning the tiebreaker. 

After getting first round byes & winning the Semi Final games, it's the Pioneers vs Predators for the Elite Bowl.  This is back-to-back years - 4th time total.  Again the St Paul Pioneers come out on-top winning Elite Bowl IX, the Pioneers 7th in a row, (7-0) in NEFL Championship games.




2017 -

The Fargo Invaders, coming off an undefeated season in the NSFL - their 2nd League Championship - joined the NEFL for the 2017 season, bringing balanced 5-team East/West divisions.

  • Fox Valley Force
  • Chippewa Valley Predators
  • St Paul Pioneers
  • Hudson Thunderhawks
  • River City Rough Riders
  • Northland Bulls
  • Battle Creek Sting
  • Minneapolis Warriors
  • Minnesota Brawlers
  • Fargo Invaders

The Brawlers re-branded from Mankato to Minnesota Brawlers, Minnesota Sting re-branded to Battle Creek Sting, North Bank Bulls move to WI and re-brand as Northland Bulls, & Menomonie Thunderhawks move to Hudson Thunderhawks.

The West was tight all season as the Invaders, Warriors & Pioneers each split their season series.  Points Against tiebreaker led to 1. Warriors, 2. Pioneers, 3. Invaders

For the first time since 2010 the Elite Bowl will not include the St Paul Pioneers, as the Minneapolis Warriors knock off St Paul in the West Division Championship.  The Northland Bulls won the East Division regular season & Championship to make their first Elite Bowl appearance.  Ultimately, the Minneapolis Warriors would defeat the Bulls 29-6 to win Elite Bowl X.




2018 -

Power-house Sioux City Stampede, reigning MFA Champions, joined the NEFL for the 2018 season, along with the Med City Freeze who moved up from 9-man SPFL.  With the late losses of Predators & Sting, the Granite City Renegades & Minnesota Vipers were added as well.

  • Fox Valley Force
  • St Paul Pioneers
  • Hudson Thunderhawks
  • River City Rough Riders
  • Northland Bulls
  • Minneapolis Warriors
  • Fargo Invaders
  • Sioux City Stampede
  • Med City Freeze
  • Minnesota Vipers
  • Granite City Renegades

Predators, Sting, & Brawlers all ceased operations prior to the 2018 season.  With 11-teams, there was an unbalanced split of teams located far West (ND), far East (WI), & far South (IA) thus the NEFL decided not have divisions and based schedule on previous years' strength, while avoiding the longest trips.  This led to one of the most balanced seasons yet, with 7 of the 11 teams finishing (5-3) or better.

With a 6-team playoff, there was a 3-way tie for #2 and for #5 seeds, which lead to an update in Tie-Breaking scenarios after the season.  Fox Valley Force were initially the #5 seed, but the bracket had them traveling to #4 Fargo, followed by a trip to Sioux City had they won; so they gave up their spot in the playoffs - which moved Northland to #5 and River City into the playoffs at #6. 

#2 Minneapolis Warriors were the defending NEFL Champions, while #1 Sioux City Stampede was coming off a MFA Championship.  Both teams received a bye and took care of their Semifinal games, to meet in Elite Bowl XI.  The Stampede would end on-top with their first NEFL Championship, second championship overall.




2019 -

For 2019 four of the top 5 teams remain, making every game up for grabs.

  • St Paul Pioneers
  • Northland Bulls
  • Fargo Invaders
  • Sioux City Stampede

Warriors & Rough Riders opted for CAFL, while the Force moved to a more eastern WI/Chicago league in MSFL, and the Freeze moved back to 9-man. The other 3 did not field teams in 2019.

For the 2019 season, the NEFL had a strong showing in non-league games and there were close battles in each of the league games.  The NEFL Championship was up for grabs, as any of the four teams had a shot.

Through league play, there were 2 ties in standings; St Paul Pioneers & Sioux City Stampede were both (4-2), while Northland Bulls & Fargo Invaders were both (2-4). 

Sioux City Stampede were the defending Champions, coming in with the #2 seed; however, the 4-seed Fargo Invaders won @ #1 St Paul before knocking off the #2 Stampede in Sioux City to win Elite Bowl XII - their first NEFL Title & 3rd as an organization.




2020 -

2020 NEFL season was canceled due to COVID-19.

The offseason included the addition of the Tri City Northstars, who were MPFL Championships in 2019, 2018, & 2015.  Minneapolis Warriors also came back to the NEFL after one season in the CAFL, where they won the 2019 Championship.

  • St Paul Pioneers
  • Fargo Invaders
  • Minneapolis Warriors
  • Tri City Northstars

Teams that departed were, Northland Bulls & Sioux City Stampede.




2021 -

2021 returns all four teams that were set to compete in 2020 & adds more. Tri City Northstars are rebranding to MinnDak Titans

  • St Paul Pioneers
  • Fargo Invaders
  • Minneapolis Warriors
  • MinnDak Titans
  • River City Rough Riders
  • Northern Light Cowboys

Rough Riders are back, after a 2-year stint in the CAFL.  Northern Light Cowboys join, coming from the CAFL where they made a Championship Appearance and prior to that they went undefeated in the NLFL.