History of the Sport Club 1924, Inc.
The history of the Sport Club 1924 Inc. is actually the history of the athletic movement of the German Immigrants after the First World War. Its activities covered a wide field of athletics, but soccer football remained the dominating sport throughout all these years.
To write the history of this organization has not been an easy task for the writer, as some of the records have been lost. It is therefore quite possible that events of importance are missing. With the assistance of some of the Old Timers, I shall try to give a clear report to the best of my ability, thanks to those who have co-operated with me, making this report possible.
Season 1924 – 1925
The first effort to organize a soccer football club by newly immigrated Germans was made as early as winter 1923 without success. Through the untiring efforts of Fritz Schmidt, Johnny Luetzenkirchen, and Emil Arnold in co-operation with Mr. Karl Wm. Suesser of the Abend Post, they finally succeeded.
A meeting was called at the Arion Hall on Chene Street on the first Sunday in May 1924. Thirty-four enthusiastic followers of athletics attended. This meeting was addressed by Fritz Schmidt and resulted in the founding of the first all-German-American soccer team known as German Sports. Alfred Hoppe functioned as the first president with Bill Reinhard managing the first team.
The first game was played as an exhibition against the Gar Wood F.C. Champions of Michigan, on the first Sunday in June, 1924. Score, Gar Wood F.C. 5 – German Sports 3.
The team was entered in the B Division of the Detroit American Soccer League. To the surprise of everyone they captured the Championship the very first year of their existence.
Internal difference led to a split of the team. Ten players left the organization at the end of the season and formed a new club.
Season 1925 – 1926
The “Club” spent their second season in the B Division of the Detroit American Soccer League, and wound up in second place. Meanwhile, the group which left played in the A Division of said league and made an excellent showing. Unfortunately, the use of ineligible players cost them 8 points in the league standing resulting in their removal to the B Division in the following season.
More athletic activities such as track and ﬁeld, wrestling, weight-lifting, and gymnastics were added and made excellent showings in many local and inter-state competitions.
Season 1926 – 1927
Another split in the “Club” resulted in the loss of the weight-lifters and wrestlers who founded the Germania Sport Club with headquarters at the Germania Hall.
The “Club” soccer team now had bitter rivals in its former members, known as the German-Americans, as both teams played in the same division. The “Club’s” team had the better forward line, while the other group showed excellent defense. Neither team carried championship caliber. Both clubs, in addition, ﬁelded reserve teams.
Fritz Schmidt conducted the affairs of the Sports, with A Dornhaus as team manager. Rudolf Heinze was at the helm of the German-Americans with Gus Boese managing the teams; while Eric Buenger became head of the Germania Sport Club.
Season 1927 – 1928
Nothing of importance on German American soccer front.
The Sports lost several players through injuries and ended the season next-to-the-last in the B Division.
The German-Americans (the group that left the “Club”) wound up in second place in same division.
The Germania S.C. moved to the front, and carried many medals and trophies home from local and inter-state competition. Credit here goes to the efforts of Eric Buenger, Helmut Frank and Fritz Engel.
No change in ofﬁcers took place in these clubs except in the Sports were Herman Schreiber Sen. was elected president.
Season 1928 – 1929
A year of great accomplishment. The German-Americans and the Germania S.C. rejoined the “Club” and became one organization known as United German American Athletic Association 1924, Inc.
The First Team won its second League Championship and advanced to the A Division.
Four teams were ﬁelded by the soccer division of the “Club” with John Roberts as manager and Rudolf Heinze as president.
Season 1929 — 1930
The ﬁrst soccer team was recognized, at this time, as one of the strongest teams in the country. As such, it advanced to the Western Finals of the National Amateur Cup Competition, only to lose to Galaton F.C. Pittsburgh, by a score of 7 to 4.
ln League Competitions the “eleven” won second place of the A Division of the Detroit American Soccer League.
The Reserve soccer team displayed an excellent brand of football. Only through the loss of injured players did they miss the C Division Championship of the D.A.S.L.
We also, at this time, notice great activity among the Boxers, Ladies and Men’s Gym Classes, and the Water Polo team.
Season 1930 — 1931
The “Club” established its own business by renting the premises of the Lilac Gardens at Mack and Van Dyke Avenues.
The Boxing division was recognized as one of the best in Detroit, next to Christ Church Athletic Club. Such stalwarts as Frank Rickert, Hans Zimmermann, Paul Langeloh and Henry Buchmann represented the “Club” colors in the Golden Gloves Tournament with great success.
The Men’s Gymnastic Class, under the leadership of Karl Neff and Emil Walz, demonstrated their skill to near perfection at the “Club’s” annual festival.
Not to forget to mention the ﬁne progress made by the Ladies Auxiliary Gym Team under the able guidance of Max Wegert. Henry Kregel is president.
Season 1931 — 1932
The “CIub” continued its activities at Mack and Van Dyke and enjoyed, during these years, the unforgettable social experience, of which we all still love to speak.
The First Team was playing as a very strong contender in the D.A.S.L., but it seemed they were destined to remain eternally at second place.
Hubert Fischer became president upon Henry Kregel’s resignation.
Season 1932 — 1933
One sees many new faces in our soccer teams. Soccer has declined in the metropolitan area.
The Detroit American Soccer League became a victim of the depression, and a new eight—team league was organized in which our First Team played a dominant role.
The “Reserves”, sailing under the name of “Kickers”, were active in the Worker’s League, with Gus Boese as manager of soccer and Henry Kregel again president.
Season 1933 — 1934
Fritz Schmidt assembled the ﬁrst Junior Team and played exhibition games against Cranbrook Institute. Unfortunately, lack of competitive teams spoiled his ﬁne efforts.
The First Team winds up the season in second place; behind the strong Chevrolet Club.
The “Club” leaves its old headquarters at Mack and Van Dyke and moved to the “Casino” at Gratiot and Meldrum.
Season 1934 — 1935
Harry Rennox, an ex -English and Scottish professional, joined the “Black and White” colors as playing coach, with Hughie Henderson on left wing. This was made possible by a change in the “Club’s” by-laws to permit non-German-Americans entrance into the “Club’s” membership.
The First Team has been re-grouped and played fine soccer.
Two exhibition games played against the Wisconsin All-Stars highlighted this season. In November we lost to Milwaukee 0:2 and again in the home game in May 2:3.
The “Club’s” new headquarters prospered and there we gained many new friends due to our very social Sunday-Afternoon Concerts.
Gus Boese and Eric Butler handled social affairs.
Season 1935 — 1936
Through the ﬁne coaching ability of Harry Rennox, the team gained its ﬁrst Michigan State Championship; defeating the favorite Chrysler Team by a score of 3 to 1 at Mack Park.
Arthur Schliwald was president while Fritz Schmidt managed the teams.
Season 1936 — 1937
The Soccer Team was still going strong, but could not overtake Chrysler.
The “Club” stages a Track and Field Carnival at “Strand-Bad Huegel”, Cass Lake, with great success. Also, a Swim Festival became an annual event.
Season 1937 — 1938
The First Team, still second to Chrysler in League competition, earned the right to represent Michigan in the National Amateur Cup. This time defeat was dealt them by the lllinois representative, Nicoli, 4:2 at Mack Park.
Gus Boese, who managed and represented the boys of the First Team in League affairs, resigned after 13 years in this capacity.
Season 1938 — 1939
The end of this season marks the second time that the “Black and White” colors captured the Michigan State Cup. The victim in the ﬁnal contest was the strong Bolton F.C. who was defeated by the score 3:2.
The “Club’s” ﬁfteenth anniversary was celebrated with a Soccer Field Day. An all-German team played the Italian All-Stars and the “Old Timers” faced a team of “Old Timer Scots”.
Chris Feddersen as president directed the “Club” affairs with great skill.
Season 1939 — 1940
The First Team reached the State Finals only to lose against its arch rival the Chrysler F.C. We notice great activity during the off season at the “Club’s” summer camp at Cass Lake.
Season 1940 — 1941
The Buffalo Becks play against the “Club” on its Seventeenth Anniversary at Mack Park. Our boys return this visit in the fall of the same year.
On December 14, we send several players to the Michigan All-Stars, who played the Royal Air Force at U of D Stadium.
Henry F. Kregel is elected president with Erwin Miller as Vice-president. Chris Feddersen manages the soccer division.
Season 1941 — 1942
Due to the shortage of players the club only ﬁelds one team for the duration of the war. Hans Zimmermann succeeds Chris Feddersen as team manager.
Erwin Miller has taken over the presidency of the “Club” with Wm. Kusch as Vice-president. Both men are holding these positions today on the Twenty-ﬁfth anniversary of the organization.
Season 1942 — 1943
The “Black and White” colors brought home the bacon once more after a season of stiff competition.
The R.A.F. team of Port Clinton, Ontario, helped celebrate the nineteenth anniversary.
A City All-Star game played between Detroit and Cleveland saw four of our players represent the Auto City squad, namely T. Barra, W. Hammann, M. Steiner, and L. Barton.
Season 1943 — 1944
Undefeated during the whole season, the Team captured both the League Championship and the State Cup.
The Twentieth Anniversary was celebrated with an exhibition game against one of lllinois’ leading teams, the Schwaben Athletic Club of Chicago. After a brilliant display of soccer the guests from the Windy City were beaten by a score of 3:2. The Team was managed by Hans Zimmermann.
On Labor Day, 1944 the Team and the “Old ﬁmers”, plus a great number of enthusiastic members, traveled to Chicago to play the return games against the Schwaben A.C.
While the “Old Timers” held their equally aged hosts to a 2:2 tie, our regular Team repeated its success from the earlier meeting by beating the Schwaben 5:4. They celebrated their loss by entertaining us royally.
Season 1944 — 1945
This season marks our second attempt to organize a Junior Soccer movement. This time with success, Wm. Gogalla did not spare time or effort to ﬁeld our ﬁrst junior team.
The senior team again won the League Championship.
Enuin Miller and Wm. Kusch are directing the Club business in the usual efficient manner.
Season 1945 — 1946
We see our team traveling again on Labor Day. The destination this time is Buffalo Becks 5:3 in an exhibition game.
The following May, on our Twenty-second anniversary, we had the Milwaukee All-Star Team as guests. The boys from the Beer City were not in a position to field a strong team and were out—classed by the “Local Eleven” 7:0.
Karl Krueger now manages the First Team which plays under the name of Pioneer Kickers.
Season 1946 — 1947
“Old Timers” and the Pioneers traveled to Milwaukee in September. The Pioneers were victorious with a score of 4:2 against the Milwaukee All—Stars, while the “Old Timers” lost 3:1.
In Spring 1947, the Pioneer Kickers joined the North American Soccer League, a newly organized professional group. After a full spring season this league disbands in failure.
Fritz Meeh accepted the responsibility of coaching the juniors.
Season 1947 — 1948
Mike Steiner and Louie Barton handle the Pioneers, which have returned to the Amateur League. Tony Barra organized a new reserve team which he manages with great skill.
The “Club” decided at the annual meeting to shorten its name from United German American Athletic Association, 1924, Inc., to Sport Club 1924, Inc.
The end of the season sees the A Team as top of the League besides having won the State Cup. The Reserves are trying hard.
Season 1948 – 1949
At the time of this writing the spring season is still in progress. The State Cup Competition has reached the semi-ﬁnal stage: with our A Team, managed by Herbert Schroeder, still competing.
Our Vice-president Wm. Kusch has accepted a tremendous task in managing the Club’s Juveniles. In conclusion of this review of the Club’s history, we hope the Twenty-ﬁfth Anniversary is worthy of its past achievements.
The Sport Club 1924, Inc., has always wholeheartedly pledged itself to SPORT only, a language understood by all men. Our doors open to all who understand good sportsmanship, a principle which guided our existence for twenty-ﬁve years.