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Henry today (and yesterday)

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I attended the Wheathawks 30 year reunion August 15 2004

Soccer Reunion - 2004

Several Players from the Derby soccer days from 1968 to 1976 found the web site and I thought it would be interesting to post some of the pictures from those days.

 It also gives me a chance to recognize and thank some of the people were were instrumental in getting the program started and provided much needed help as the program grew.

 Additional pictures and articles from the Derby Reporter will be posted as time permits.
 All pictures in black and white were taken by Vera Wait, the Derby Reporter photographer, she never tired of taking team pictures, game action shots and special event photos. Some are shown below others are in my personal achieves.

Derby Soccer Days
The start in 1969 Got me started
Jean Branstetter
Made the first goals
Ted Zollinger
Helped me quit smoking
Bill Shepard

Memorial Park
Coach and Friend: Percy Wu Some of the many Coaches Young Soccer Fans Tom Sweeney and Chris West
First kickoff by Father Wilkenson Coin toss by Richard Brown Bill Benning's team Parents team vs. the kids Alternate Picture
  Falcons-1970 Vikings-1970 Spurs
Annual Awards at the Derby City Center
Team pictures - taken with my camera in Color
Pictures from teams in the 68-72 soccer years
The Adult version of the Derby soccer program - Kansas Champions in 1975
  Cleaning project The first goals  
Lawn mowers were used to mow the entire field for the first game in the summer of 1968  
  Farewell Greeting card The final reward  
Care to see my garden? Want to know what I listen to?


Signature of Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, after a 1970 game of Santos vs. Kansas City Spurs

Mr. Jean Branstetter got it started - Top
 In early February 1969 Mary and I had moved to Derby, Ks. About a month later, Mary started to work at the TG&Y store that was managed by Jean Branstetter. Jean was trying to start the Derby Optimist club and was looking for men to join.
 He had found out through Mary that I was somewhat interested in the game of soccer. He then asked me to join the Optimist club and start a youth soccer program. My first answer was that I did not have the money to run a program like that. He responded with "The Optimist will sponsor the program". My next concern was that I did not have any experience at organizing a youth program. Again he convinced me that the Optimist would provide those skills. 
 I reluctantly agreed and the next thing I knew I was being interviewed and photographed by the Daily Reporter. The article embellished my skills a bit and the next thing I knew was that nearly sixty (60) kids signed up to play
 I was overwhelmed and my wife's advice was to "Just do it" (You thought Nike invented that slogan, didn't you). She told me that once the number had dropped to around 30 players to make sure that they would stay.

 The pictures tell the rest of the story and we all are indebted Jean for having the foresight to convince me to start a youth soccer program..

Ted Zollinger was always ready to help with projects and build the first soccer goals - Top

The first goals in Derby

They are still there after 35 Years

A well deserved recognition

Ted Zollinger was a tireless Optimist member and many of you will remember him as the owner of the Trading Post hardware store on K-15 in Derby. Ted was the second president of the Derby Optimist club following the first president Jean Branstetter.
 Ted would today be known as "Ted the Toolman", not only did he have an amazing inventory of handyman tools, he was also an expert at using them. To support his hobbies he had a nice inventory of building supplies. He put his used oil line pipe to good use by building the first set of goals for the Derby soccer program. Once they were ready they were transported, under police escort by the chief of police (and Optimist member) Sallee, to the soccer field at St. Mary's church on Woodlawn. A concrete mix truck from Hershey's Ready Mix donated a load of concrete and was waiting to pour the mix to insure that the goals would be stable.
 Ted became a personal friend and continued to help with other projects as the soccer program matured.
 He is surely teaching others how to use tools in heaven.

Bill Shepard helped me quit smoking - Top

Bill Shepard was one of the players on the Wichita Soccer Club. We played together several times per week on the soccer fields along Hydraulic in Wichita. After practice we usually would walk accross the street to the Soccer Club Inn, a bar that was owned by another member Richard Brown. Richard was the coach and organizer of the soccer team.

 One evening in 1972, we were having our usual post practice refreshment when I commented to Bill: "Bill, when I get to be your age, I want to be able to play like you do". You have to understand that Bill at 42 years was quite old, after all, I was a 30 year old youngster. Not only that, Bill was a exceptionally  graceful player who could make moves that were the envy of many players on the team.
 He looked at me for what seemed like forever, and said "You do?". "Absolutely, that is my goal". He stared some more and as he pointed at the cigarette that I was smoking, replied "Then you need to quit smoking today". I had smoked about fifteen years, probably was puffing away a pack and a half per day. I had lost a couple of bets with colleagues at work but I was still smoking.
 "Quit smoking will do it?" I asked, really knowing his answer. "I guarantee it", Bill said.

 I put out my cigarette and never touched another one.

 He was more then right on one account: I not only was playing soccer at the age of 42, I have continued playing as of 2004. He was not right on playing with the skills that he displayed, I never quite mastered his elegant moves.

 Bill passed away several years ago but I am sure he scans the web for soccer articles. Thank you Bill