MidStates Football League: Wikis


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MidStates Football League
MidStates Football League
Sport American football
Founded 1999
Commissioner Howard Huntington
No. of teams 16
Country(ies)  United States
Most recent champion(s) Racine Threat
Most championships Chicago Thunder (4)
Official website MSFL Homepage

The MidStates Football League (MSFL) is a semi-professional football league formed in 1999. Teams usually consist of unpaid athletes and volunteer staff working together to field a competitive and professional product both on and off the field.



Based in Chicago, the MSFL currently consists of 16 teams; ten in Illinois, three in Indiana, and three in Wisconsin. Three teams have won national semi-pro football championships under the MSFL banner; the Detroit Seminoles in 2002 and the Chicago Thunder in 2006 and 2008.




The MSFL began in 1999 with five teams; the Chicago Mavericks, Chicago Panthers, Force of Illinois, Indianapolis Warriors, and Metro East Stallions. The Force were crowned the MSFL's first champion with their 27-8 win over the Warriors in the championship game.


Although the Metro East Stallions folded after only one season, the MSFL was able to double in size by adding the Detroit Seminoles, Michiana Saints, and Michigan Huskies from the Michigan Football League, as well as the new expansion team the Lake County Steelers. Having won back-to-back MFL titles, the Seminoles carried their success to the MSFL, capping the first perfect season in league history with a championship win over the Force of Illinois, 35-14.


2001 was by far the MSFL's most tumultuous season, with the Chicago Mavericks and Force of Illinois leaving (while the Mavericks folded, the Force merged with the Will County Buccaneers to form the Will County Force and play one season in the Mid Continental Football League). Although the Dowagiac Dawgs and Milwaukee Marauders joined that season, it saw the Chicago Panthers, Michiana Saints, and Michigan Huskies fold before year's end, once again reducing the league size to four times. Once again, the Detroit Seminoles reigned supreme, capping another perfect season with another title game win, defeating the Marauders by a score of 43-10.


After the troubles of the preceding season, the MSFL rebounded in 2002. In addition to the Force of Illinois returning, the MSFL took on the Lansing Lightning (previously independent), Cook County Punishers (previously of the Chicagoland Football League), Chicago Lawmen (Tri-State Football League), and the newly-formed Milwaukee Avalanche (replacing the Milwaukee Marauders, who had joined another league). However, it was the Detroit Seminoles who got their third straight MSFL crown and perfect season, with this championship being over the Punishers by a score of 27-7.


Never having lost a game in their MSFL tenure, the Detroit Seminoles decided to move to the Mid Continental Football League for stronger competition. In addition, the Lansing Lightning moved to the Lakeshore Football League, the Indianapolis Warriors had previously announced their return only to drop out before the year's start, and the Dowagiac Dawgs and Milwaukee Avalanche both folded because of illness having struck both teams' owners. The MSFL added the Cook County Jaguars to fill in the lineup; however, it was the Chicago Lawmen who came away with the MSFL title that year, defeating the Cook County Punishers 9-0.


The MSFL took 2004 off as commissioner Marc May got sick and the Chicago Lawmen, Cook County Jaguars, and Cook County Punishers all shut down. For that season, the Force of Illinois and Lake County Steelers played in the Chicagoland Football League.


2005 saw the MSFL return with arguably the strongest team line-up in the Midwest. Although the proposed Milwaukee Rage, Dwight Blitz, Kankakee Bisons, Maywood Gators and Lincoln Tigers would never play a single MSFL down, the new MSFL had three teams which had won league titles the previous year (Chicago Thunder, Leyden Lions, and Roscoe Rush), three more which were league runners-up the prior season (Force of Illinois, Illinois Firehawks, and Indiana Titans). In addition, two had won league titles in 2003 (Chicago Falcons and Lake County Chiefs). All these joined the Kankakee Seminoles, Chicago Wolverines, Bolingbrook Stallions, Bolingbrook Buccaneers, Central Indiana Bears, and Lake County Steelers to make the MSFL a strong and competitive circuit, with the climax coming in the championship game with the Chicago Thunder defeating the Indiana Titans by a score of 17-7.


Although the Roscoe Rush left the MSFL to compete in the Ironman Football League, 2006 saw two new teams join (the Mid-State Steel and the Lafayette Lions). Nonetheless, that year showed a battle of past and present dynasties compete for the MSFL title, with the Chicago Thunder defeating the Force of Illinois in overtime for the championship after both teams had played to a 21-21 tie in regulation.


For 2007, the MSFL welcomed the Racine Threat and Northern Illinois Cowboys. However, the ending proved to be more of the same, with the Chicago Thunder once again winning the league championship, this time over the Bolingbrook Buccaneers by a score of 36-7.


Although the Force of Illinois shut down, their owner Howard Huntington decided to stay as MSFL Commissioner. The Mid-State Steel and Indiana Titans returned from their respective hiatuses, with the Kankakee Plowmen joining the party. In what can be considered the greatest game in MSFL history, the Chicago Thunder defeated the Leyden Lions 26-21 to claim their fourth straight league title.


2009 saw the Chicago Mustangs, Indianapolis Stampede, McHenry County Pirates, Kilbourn City Hawks, and Lincoln-Way Patriots join, as well as the Bolingbrook Buccaneers change their name to the Joliet Buccaneers. For the first time in six years, a team other than the Chicago Thunder won the MSFL title, as the Racine Threat defeated the Lincoln-Way Patriots 34-14.


In 2010, the Roscoe Rush will return to the MSFL, and the MSFL will welcome the legendary Racine Raiders into their fold, forming a cross-town rivalry with the defending MSFL champions Racine Threat.

2010 MSFL Teams

Division Team Location Founded Join MSFL
National Conference
Badger Kilbourn City Hawks Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 2009 2009
Northern Illinois Cowboys North Chicago, Illinois 2007 2007
Racine Raiders Racine, Wisconsin 1953 2010
Racine Threat Racine, Wisconsin 2002 2007
Chicagoland Chicago Mustangs Berwyn, Illinois 2009 2009
Joliet Buccaneers Joliet, Illinois 2004 2005
McHenry County Pirates Algonquin, Illinois 2006 2009
Roscoe Rush Roscoe, Illinois 2003 2010
American Conference
Southern Illinois Chicago Thunder Chicago, Illinois 1991 2005
Kankakee Plowmen Kankakee, Illinois 2008 2008
Lake County Steelers Portage, Indiana 2000 2000
Leyden Lions Melrose Park, Illinois 2004 2005
Hoosier Indiana Titans Lakeville, Indiana 2004 2005
Indianapolis Stampede Indianapolis, Indiana 2007 2008
Lincoln-Way Patriots Frankfort, Illinois 2008 2009
Mid-State Steel Peoria, Illinois 2002 2006

MSFL Membership timeline

MSFL Champions

Championship Games

Date Winning Team Score Losing Team
1999 Force of Illinois 27-8 Indianapolis Warriors
2000 Detroit Seminoles 35-14 Force of Illinois
2001 Detroit Seminoles 43-10 Milwaukee Marauders
2002 Detroit Seminoles 27-7 Cook County Punishers
2003 Chicago Lawmen 9-0 Cook County Punishers
2005 Chicago Thunder 17-7 Indiana Titans
2006 Chicago Thunder 24-21 (OT) Force of Illinois
2007 Chicago Thunder 36-7 Bolingbrook Buccaneers
2008 Chicago Thunder 26-21 Leyden Lions
2009 Racine Threat 34-14 Lincoln-Way Patriots

External links


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