The club celebrated their 15th anniversary in 1971, and paid homage to the players that had helped make Green White into what it had become. Joe Laxgang was singled out, because he had now played in over 600 games with either the first team or the reserves. Stefan Zimmer wasn't far behind with over 500, and three others had logged more than 400 (Nick Willer, Albin Schwarz, and Rudi Hrbacek). Others honored that night included the over-300 club (Sam Berleth, Stefan Laxgang, and George Polaretzki), and the 250-club (Fred Ott, Alex Gyurko, Stefan Strumberger, and Klaus Kilian).
President Martin Schneider wrote the following in the 15th anniversary program book...
“Dear sports friends, a hearty welcome to all of you on the occasion of our fifteenth anniversary. It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years since this small group of soccer friends from the Donauschwaben Jugendgruppe formed this club. 15 years that have brought us on a journey all the way to the Major Division. Yes, we have slid backwards for a short time and currently reside in the First Division, but our pride and joy is our young talent. They represent our future. Like all other German-American clubs, we can no longer rely on players coming here from the homeland. I think Green White has been on the right path in that regard for the past few years. With our wonderful homegrown talent, I’m absolutely certain we will move back up to the Major Division soon.
Since our tenth anniversary we have made two trips to Germany, once with our men’s team (1967) and once with our junior team (1970). Both trips were a big success, providing great competition and camaraderie. We’re also in the midst of renovating our clubhouse, and we’re working closely with the Donauschwaben to also find a regular field for Green White.
In conclusion, I’d like to express my gratitude and thanks to all of the hard workers on the Green White board over these past 15 years. Without your sacrifice and diligence, we certainly wouldn’t be here tonight celebrating our anniversary. We’re a big club with over 300 members, and we can be very proud of them all. We’re on the right path and our future looks bright.
I hope you all have a wonderful evening tonight, and I encourage you to continue to make our clubhouse the center of your sporting life."
Green White Youth
As Martin Schneider mentioned, the youth program was very strong. But that didn't stop the Green White newsletter from making the following observation early in 1971...
“It’s sad to report that things aren’t going quite as well as they should with the youth team this year because some of the players just aren’t taking their training as seriously as they should. It’s too big of a job for one man—currently Nick Racz, the manager of the team. He needs some help. Whoever is willing to volunteer must understand the youth of today—not the easiest thing to understand.”
Hans Metzinger Jr. remembers it as one of the highlights of his Green White career. "Playing in that father-son game with the Green White Juvenile team in 1971 at Welles Park was a special memory. It was probably the biggest crowd to ever watch a youth soccer game in Green White history."
Among the dads on the field that day: Christian Kidric, Frank Schmidt, Walter Dinkel, Hans Metzinger, Steve Friedrich, Lou Massong, Frank Olah, Micheal Meiss, Martin Schneider, Franz Hehn, Gustave Stark, Mathias Mayer, Adam Knoll, Hans Pfatschbacher, and Stefan Lemann. They faced off against their sons Gerhardt, Frank, Tom, Hans, Steve, Lou, Frank, Mike, Guenther, Gus, Gerhard, Joe, Hans, and Manfred.
The sons came out victorious, winning the game 6 to 3.
Green White Women
The first Green White women's team took the field in 1971, coached by Klaus Kilian. One of the mainstays of that team was Maria Zimmer (photo), who remembers that time very fondly. "Our first game was against Schwaben," she recalls. "We formed a league a few years later with teams like the Chicago Kickers, Park Ridge Orange Crush, Real FC, Schwatben and a Hoffman Estates team. In those early years, I played in the midfield."
Green White Off the Field
President of Green White was Martin Schneider and the VP was Peter Hehn. The rest of the executive board was Alex Jordan—Treasurer, Eckhard Kaempfer—Secretary, Anton Kirschner—Protocol Secretary, Horst Melcher—General Manager. Among the other board members and coaches: Martin Rutterschmidt, Ottmar Scheer, Heinrich Bischoff, Franz Stadler, Mathias Kraemer, Otto Fladischer, Fritz Becker, Fred Feichtel, Adam Kessler, Helmut Jicha, Peter Berger, Adam Harjung, Christian Kidric, Franz Schmidt, Stefan Friedrich, Hans Kolleng, Josef Schuster, Heinrich Wittje.
Miss Green White 1971 was Anni Richter. The 15th annivesary program book described her this way: "She came to the U.S in 1963, and became an active member of the Donauschwaben youth group, eventually becoming their president in 1969-1970. She attends the University of Illinois (circle campus), and is studying languages. She speaks German, English, French and Spanish!"
1971 Green White Babies
A bevy of future Green White players were born in 1971 including...Brian Bischoff, Greg Boltz, Keith Andersson, Chris Ryan and Les Rebbeck.
In Pop Culture
~The number one hit of the year was "Joy to the World"
~The top show on television was "All in the Family"
~The Best Picture Academy Award went to The French Connection
Elsewhere in 1971
~Evil Knieval set a record by jumping 19 cars with his motorcycle.
~The New York Times printed the Pentagon Papers.
~Walt Disney World opened in Orlando, Florida.
COMING NEXT MONTH: 1972. The Green White youth program pays dividends.
As always, if you have any thing to add or correct in this month’s installment, please drop me a line at email@example.com. I consider this a group project, and a work in progress, so we can add and subtract until we get it all exactly correct. If you have photos you’d like to contribute, please do.