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Racine Raiders Football Club | Racine, Wis. |

FLASHBACK: 1974 – Central States adds Iowa team

(NOTE: This article was written by Carm Papara and originally appeared in the May 8, 1974, edition of the Racine Journal Times.)

FlashbackThe Central States Football League, its horizons widened by the addition of a team from Iowa, goes to the post this fall with a nine-team, three division setup.

The new franchise is at Cedar Rapids, marking the first time an Iowa squad has been admitted into CSFL membership. Indiana was a part of the CSFL until Calumet closed out its franchise after the 1963 season. Since then, the league has consisted only of Wisconsin and Illinois squads until the breakthrough now of an Iowa entry.

Cedar Rapids will lineup in the western division with Madison and Rockford; the Racine Raiders are in the central division with Delavan and defending champion Lake County while Sheboygan. West Allis and Manitowoc comprise the eastern group.

Teams will play their divisional rivals twice on a home-and-hoome basis and meet all other rivals once for a 10-game league campaign.

Known in prior years as the Bi-States League and then the Tri-States. the league in 1965 changed its name to Central States, and in that nine-year span, the Madison Mustangs have been the winningest club, posting 70 victories, 19 losses and one tie. Next comes Lake County with 65-23-2 but the Rifles have been the most successful in league playoff championship games, capturing three crowns.

West Allis and Madison each have two championships and Rockford and Racine one apiece in the nine-year span. The Raiders’ overall record in this period is 48-40-2, good for fourth position in the combined standings.

Lake County has erected an enviable record, never having a losing season since joining the league in 1965. Madison is not far off that pace, being 4-6 in its first season (1964) but reeling off winning records ever since.

Racine, after two straight losing campaigns, turned it around a year ago under new head coach Warren Greco, to compile a 7-3 record, which was just one game away from first place in the southern division.

A rather lireless worker, Greco already has contacted some 100 players for the coming season and 27 have been persuaded to sign 1974 contracts.

Among them are such holdovers as center Erick Anderson; defensive backs John Rosko and Ralph Bishop; linebackers Sylvester Campbell and Tony Koenings; offensive tackles Kirk Schneider and J.C. Coleman; offensive guards Dale Kalmos and Ben DeLeon; defensive ends Vaughn Chattman and Ron Danoski and running back Ed Hopkins.

A major loss, of course, was quarterback Brian Lindstrom, the University of Arizona quarterback who is getting a trial this season with the New England Patriots of the National Football League. Lindstrom topped the league in passing, with some 2000 yards in making the Raiders the league’s most dangerous outfit offensively.

If Lindstrom fails to make the grade with the Patriots, there is the possibility he’ll return to the Raiders, a hope Greco clings to rather fervently.

Among new players Greco has signed are J.I. Case graduate Dave Hanson, wide receiver who starred the past seasons with Carthage College powerhouses.

Other newcomers include linebacker Greg Cummings of Fort Wayne, Ind., a 6-1, 235-pounder, defensive tackle Patrick Lee, 6-1 and 255 from UW-Stevens Point, linebacker Jerry Sanders, 6-0, 235, from Fort Wayne, and defensive end Jeffrey Waukau, 6-3. 240 who played for St. Norbert College and UW-Oshkosh he past three seasons.

A Raiders’ player meeting a few days ago lured 35 prospects from as far off as Ohio, an indication that Greco is running up a sizeable telephone bill. Not that he’ll catch much flak from the front office crew headed by general manager Roy Braid.

The Raiders, who will open practice early in July, are on the lookout for employment and housing for their new squad members.

“We are gathering some high type people who will be an asset to the community,” stressed Braid in his appeal to local businessmen to put the newcomers to work.