SEAFL - A History

In the year 2000, the California Australian Football League was going strong and the Mid-America Australian Football League had just finished a successfull first year with its first clubs - Nashville, Cincinnati, Louisville, and Chicago. The four clubs in the US SouthEast decided that the time was right for them to form their own league. So, the club presidents, Glenn Fullager, Mike Powers, Warren Ballagh, and Tony Maher, of North Carolina, Atlanta, Tri-Cities, and South Carolina, respectively; together with Seth McElvaney, the League's first president, formed the SouthEastern Australian Football League. These clubs all shared the same vision of footy in the US. The clubs were not that far apart distance-wise either. The longest trip was from Atlanta to Raleigh (400 miles). The average trip distance was 200 miles.

So, the SEAFL's inaugural season was 2001. However, a month before the league was to start, Tony Maher informed the league that the South Carolina Hawks' numbers were not enough to field a team for the season, and so South Carolina withdrew from the league before ever playing a game in it. The remaining South Carolina players played the next couple of seasons for Tri-Cities. The season started with the North Carolina Tigers dominating their opponents. The Tri-Cities Saints had split their first two games: losing to North Carolina but destroying the Atlanta Kookaburras. In the second half of the season the Tigers continued to win, however Atlanta had recruited many new and experienced players and managed to beat Tri-Cities by enough points to make it into the Grand Final where they would face the minor premiers, North Carolina Tigers. In a very hard fought match in Durham, North Carolina, the Kookaburras earned a surprise victory. But that was their last surprise victory. There were many more victories, but they were no longer surprises!

Season 2002 saw the Kookaburras dominate the competition, go undefeated, and win their second SEAFL premiership. In 2003, Atlanta and North Carolina split their series. North Carolina had enough of a percentage advantage to win their second minor premiership, but could not win the Grand Final. Atlanta take their third SEAFL premiership. Atlanta, in 2003, plays in the MAAFL season in addition to their SEAFL season.

The Florida Redbacks had a trial run with the SEAFL in 2004. Atlanta beat North Carolina in the SEAFL Grand Final for the fourth time. After the season the Tri-Cities Saints fold. The Florida Redbacks and North Carolina Tigers leave the SEAFL to join with the teams of the North-East Australian Football League (Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore-Washington, and Pittsburgh) to form the Eastern Australian Football League.

The Atlanta Kookaburras and Baton Rouge Tigers are playing a home and away series in 2005 which one part of the Kookaburras' website states that these are SEAFL matches. Whether this becomes the basis of a new re-formed SEAFL remains to be seen.

Click on the links to the left to find out more about the SEAFL.