A blog dedicated to chronicling the history of SC Green White, a soccer club founded in Chicago in 1956.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


1971 wasn't the best year for the Green White first team, but it was pretty obvious that the times they were a changin. Team manager Rudi Hrbacek was mixing in some of the younger players (like Peter Mathes) along with the mainstays like Joe Laxgang (photo), John Woolfe, Steve Zimmer, and Nick Willer, and though the team didn't quite make it back up to the Major Division, they were close.

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.”

The mindset of the Green White old guard was pretty obvious, and was reflected perfectly by the title of a much ballyhooed father-son game. They called it: "The Generation Gap Game". It was held on August 29.

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.

The youngest Green White team, the Midget "B" team, also showed signs of things to come. Manager Simon Andres and trainer Stefan Laxgang reported in the Green White newsletter that the boys were improving every year and forming a very strong disciplined club. Among the goal scorers at that point of the season: Mike Andres, Mike Hrbacek, Richard Schneider, and Robert Klaus. Other players included Michael Blaas, Frank Schmalz, Markus Laxgang, Robert and Tony Bless, Walter Stadler, Nick Racz, and Mike Kraemer. Many of those names would make their mark at every stage of their Green White development.

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.

The president of the women’s club was Sue Hauptmann (shown here with fellow board members Anni Scheer, Hilde Kaempfer, and Trude Stadler). The big event of the year was a family bowling night at Golf Mill bowling alley in May.

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

~Apollo 15 astronauts David Scott and James Irwin became the first to ride in a lunar rover on the Moon.

~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 amishrick@yahoo.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.

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