After a year away, the Northern Football Conference has returned to Sault Ste. Marie.
The Sault Steelers returned to action on Saturday night at Rocky DiPietro Field against the Tri-City Outlaws.
The team took a hiatus in 2017 after low players numbers during their spring tryout.
In August, the organization announced intentions to return to the league this season and began the recruiting process.
The team held recruiting nights during the winter and player interest led to the team having 24 players signed with the intent to play just before Christmas.
Longtime Steeler Brandon Lewis, who will serve as coach this season, said in December that the hiatus may have helped interest.
“It’s weird to say it, but maybe the fact that (the program) had gone away (played a role in players being interested),” Lewis said. “A lot of players over the course of a few years who said they want to play and at some point are going to play, that time ran out because it was gone, and now those guys are showing interest, which is good. We’re really putting it out there that we want to come back and we want to come back strong.”
The team was officially welcomed back at the NFC annual general meeting in January.