Racine Raiders

American minor-league football club

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Racine Raiders
Raiders logo.jpg
Founded1953
League
  • Central States League(CSL) (1953, 1962–1975)
  • Bi-States Football League (BSFL) (1954–1959)
  • Tri-States Football League (TSFL) (1960–1961)
  • Northern States Football League (NSFL) (1978–1981, 1983–1985)
  • AFA (1982)
  • Midwest Football League (MWFL) (1986–2006) (1986–1990, 1992–1994)
  • Independent (1991)
  • Mid-Continental Football League (MCFL) (1995–2002)
  • North American Football League (NAFL) (2003–2009
  • Elite MCFL (2011)
  • MidStates Football League (MSFL) (2010, 2012–present)
Team historyRacine Raiders (1953–1975)
North Shore Gladiators (1978)
Racine Gladiators (1979–1985)
Racine Raiders (1986–present)
Based inRacine, Wisconsin
StadiumHorlick Field
ColorsBlack, silver, cardinal    
PresidentMatt Nelson
Head coachWilbert Kennedy
Championships9 (1981, 1983, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1995, 2001, 2012, 2014)
Division titles21
DancersRaiders Dance and Stunt Team
MascotR.J. Raider

The Racine Raiders is a semi-professional American football club in the Mid-States Football League, based in Racine, Wisconsin.

Founded in 1953, they are the oldest minor league football team still operating in Wisconsin. They own a total of nine national titles. The Raiders were the first minor league football team to gain 501(c)(3) Not-For-Profit status from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).[1] The organization is composed entirely of volunteers. The helmet design is a silver background with a cowboy bandit in black with an eye patch on the left eye with a half and half bandanna of cardinal and black.

Staff

  • President: Matt Nelson
  • General Manager: Robbie Harrington
  • Head Coach: Wilbert Kennedy

Franchise history

Summary

William "Wigs" Konicek,[2] a graduate of Horlick High School and local restaurateur, started the Racine Raiders in 1953.[3] The team began in the Bi-States Football League (BSFL) and won their first league championship in 1954.

The team was able to sustain itself until 1975 when it disbanded. Although they did not field a team for the 1976 and 1977 season, they remained organized for those seasons. New owners started the Racine Gladiators in 1978. They paid players and were successful on the field, winning three National Championships. Unfortunately, the team fell on hard times and disbanded in 1985.

In 1986, Bob Milkie, a retired bearing company executive, Joe Mooney, a police sergeant, Jess Levin, a local banker, and others rebuilt the team, this time as community-owned, non-profit organization.[4]

Perhaps the biggest moment in the team's history, as well as that of minor league football, came in 1989 when the team traveled to Ottawa, Canada, to play in a World Championship game. While the team won the game in five degree weather and a blizzard, just playing the game was the important element. The team was now able to apply for, and received, 501(c)3 Not-For-Profit status from the Internal Revenue Service, setting the tone for dozens of minor league football teams since to be able to do the same.

The Raiders have won nine National Championships and have had nearly a dozen players with National Football League (NFL) experience. They also have 31 players, coaches or staff in the American Football Association (AFA) Semi Pro Hall of Fame, more than any other team.[5]

American Football Association (AFA) Minor League Football Hall of Fame

1982 Harry Gilbert Coach Category
1987 Bob Milkie Player Category
1988 Kurt Kampendahl Player Category
1988 Ed O'Reilly Coach Category
1989 Greg Johnson Player Category
1990 Charlie Bliss Player Category
1994 Norm Killion Coach Category
1996 Ron Hart Player Category
1997 Tom Kohr Coach Category
1999 Arnie Garber Coach Category
1999 Joe Mooney Executive Category
2000 John Scardina Player Category
2001 Phil Micech Player Category
2002 Tony Lombardo Player Category
2003 Jordan Kopac Coach Category
2003 Dennis Galipo Player Category
2004 Brian Forston Player Category
2004 Brian Erickson Player Category
2005 Ron Anton Player Category
2005 Terry Converse Coach Category
2005 Gary Kuykendall Player Category
2005 Mike Willkomm Player Category
2006 Dan Dragan Player Category
2006 Gary Suhr Media Category
2007 Chris Pivovar Coach Category
2007 Scott Smith Player Category
2010 Greg Fictum Player Category
2010 Jerry Kupper Coach Category
2013 Wilbert Kennedy Player Category
2013 Brian Jansen Player Category
2015 Pedro Trevino Coach Category
2016 Adam Walker Player Category
2018 Todd Gorsline Player Category
2018 John Mamerow Player Category
2019 Mark Trudel Player Category
2019 Don Wadewitz Media Category

Minor League Football News Hall of Fame

2007 Brian Forston
2007 Peter Deates
2007 Jordan Kopac
2015 Gary Griffin
2016 Don Wadewitz

Retired numbers

10 Jim May Quarterback 1964–1965
11 Charlie Bliss Quarterback 1980–1989, 1992
23 Tony Lombardo Running back 1962–1966
51 Bob Milkie Center 1957–1971
53 L. Fred Vondra Center 1979–1985
55 Wilbert Kennedy Defensive tackle 1988–2009
74 Kurt Kampendahl Defensive tackle 1982–1993
75 Ron Hart Defensive tackle 1964–1975
82 Ron Anton Tight end 1964–1973
83 Phil Micech Defensive end/Defensive tackle/Tight end 1985–1995, 2001

Players that played professional outdoor football

Head coaches

1953 Don Perkins (1-2-2)
1953 Les Kalchik (1-6-0)
1954–1962 Frank Schinkowitch (46-47-5)
1963 Jim Haluska (2-8-0)
1964–1967, 1982 Harry Gilbert (44-9-2)
1968–1969 Jim Thompson (11-12-0)
1970–1972 Bruno Wojtaszek (15-24-0)
1973–1974 Warren Greco (16-9-0)
1975, 1979 Larry Benjamin (15-12)
1980–81, 1986–90, 1997–2000 Bob Milkie (137-29-0)
1983–1984 Pete Bock (32-3-0)
1985 Rich McClure (9-7-0)
1991–1994 Terry Converse (49-3-0)
1995–1996 Kurt Kampendahl (29-4-0)
2002–2004 Gregg Brenner (36-10-0)
2001, 2005–2007, 2011 Jordan Kopac (63-20-0)
2008–2010 John Mamerow (17-10-0)
2012–2013 Gino Perfetto (28-3-0)
2014–present Wilbert Kennedy (30-3-0)

References

  1. ^ D'Amato, Gary (13 March 1990). "Racine Raiders gain tax-exempt status". The Journal Times. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Obituaries". The Journal Times. 10 July 1989. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  3. ^ Brehm, Keith (30 March 1953). "Sports, It's this way..." The Journal Times. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  4. ^ Danowski, Jeff (22 June 1986). "'Return of Raiders' to premier this week". The Journal Times. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  5. ^ http://www.americanfootballassn.com/forms/2010HallofFameListing.pdf
  6. ^ "Ron Daughtry". pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved 18 June 2021.
  7. ^ "Don Deerwester". profootballarchives.com. Retrieved 18 June 2021.
  8. ^ Legacy Obituaries [1], accessed August 4, 2015.
  9. ^ The Milwaukee Sentinel "Berzinski, Haluska sign with Racine", accessed June 23, 2011.
  10. ^ Arizona Star website [2], accessed July 10, 2013.
  11. ^ Tim Rucks, 1960-2015. Carthage College Athletics.
  12. ^ Brehm, Keith (27 August 1953). "Raiders Assembling Topnotch Grid Team". The Journal Times. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  13. ^ Nelson, David (6 July 2016). "Former Red Men Adam Walker Inducted Into the American Football Association Semi-Pro Hall of Fame". carthage.edu. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  14. ^ Sheboygan Press "North Wall of Fame to Induct 3", accessed March 10, 2015.
  15. ^ "Brett Wilson". pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved 18 June 2021.

Further reading

External links

Original content from Wikipedia, shared with licence Creative Commons By-Sa - Racine Raiders