ELMIRA, NY (WENY) - Elmira Notre Dame transitioned from 11 to 8-man football last season, and the transition was a smooth one.

Notre Dame finished the season with a record of 6-2, both losses coming to Lansing in the regular season. The Crusaders exacted revenge, topping Lansing for the sectional title. They then beat Tri-Valley for the intersectional championship. 

Head Coach Mike D'Aloisio has tallied 239 wins in his career, entering his 38th season as Head Coach, but this season presents a new challenge. He tells WENY because the program has not had a modified or JV program in some time, many of his kids have never played organized football before. That being said, the expectations for him and the team don't change. D'Aloisio says, "You know, we go into every game thinking we're going to win and as a coach we have to give our kids the opportunity to have a chance to win. They're going to have to progress, we're going to have to slow the game down a little. Try to keep it close coming down to the last two minutes and win it there."

His quarterback and linebacker Erik Charnetski sees no reason the team can't repeat their success from a year ago. He says, "I have 100%, absolute confidence that we can repeat last year. It's just the will, and the want. When it comes down to it, this is a great group of guys. We're very closely bonded; tight knit. Some from last year, and some coming up from younger grades." 

Notre Dame kicks off their season on Friday, September 20th at 7:00 PM on the road against Trumansburg.