Dynamo FC was formed in 1978, to became the premier youth soccer club in Indiana.
How it all began
THE STORY OF A SOCCER CLUB (as published locally)
PREFACE The stimulus to write this history was provided by Ken Myers as we stood discussing what a significant force DYNAMO F.C. has become in Indiana youth soccer. The occasion of our meeting was the funeral of Dr. Allen Katner, a founder of DYNAMO, one of the driving forces for many years, and an extraordinary friend.
It was easy for me to reminisce with Ken about the early days, to recall the fun and the failures, to explain what we had hoped to achieve, and to learn what had occurred since my move to California. How much has happened, and how I reveled in the cumulative success. My enthusiasm for the future was matched by Ken's interest in the past, and he regretted that many of the present parents and players had joined the club with no way of knowing about the foundation and early days. From there it was easy to agree that the DYNAMO story should be told.
History lends credibility, so it is said. I would have thought that the continued growth and success of DYNAMO F.C. was credibility enough, but perhaps the story of the club will intrigue and stimulate those now responsible for its continuation. Although it required only a few people to create DYNAMO, many have freely helped to make it grow, and contributed to its success.
In particular, DYNAMO benefited hugely from the vision, wisdom, soccer skill and phenomenal enthusiasm of Allen Katner. To ensure that the club endures would be the best tribute we could offer to his memory. In preparing this chronicle I have been helped by a number of people, especially Bill McBride, and to them all I owe thanks. If this story brings you an idea of the pleasure, fun, frustration and satisfaction that the club has given to those who started it, and provides the inspiration to ensure its continued growth and success, then what a happy thought that is. - Bobby Burt, Saratoga, California. January 1987.
IN THE BEGINING.
Almost everything grows from something else, and DYNAMO F.C. was no exception. Under the inspiration and guidance of Allen Katner, the Indianapolis Jewish Community Center had started a youth soccer development program. As playing standards improved travel teams competed for the Indianapolis City Championship, and in 1978 the U-14 and U-12 teams won their divisions and qualified for the State Championship Finals.
The J.C.C. Board of Management granted dispensation for the teams to play in these Saturday games, and they were rewarded by an U-14 victory and a penalty shoot-out defeat for the U-12 team. It was made clear at this time that in future, dispensation for Saturday play could not be granted, so when the same teams qualified for the State Finals again in 1979, their places were forfeited to other teams.
By now it was becoming obvious that the older players had physically outgrown the J.C.C. playing field. In addition, if playing skills were to improve, more and better competition was required, which would involve travel out of state and frequent Saturday games.
Soccer was begining to explode in Indiana. I.U. were in the ascendant, Jerry Yeagley held his first camp in 1978 and the Daredevils brought the professional game to Indianapolis. Some of us, recalling the words of Brutus to Cassius, sensed that the tide of Indiana youth soccer was at the flood and should be taken. Whether or not it would lead to soccer fortune remained to be seen. Thus it was, on a July evening in 1979, at 219 West 81st. Street, DYNAMO F.C. came into being. Listed alphabetically, the founders were Bobby Burt, Allen Katner, Ray Lord, Bill McBride and Mike Vogel, all of whom had been involved with the J.C.C. teams.
The ambitious raison d'etre of DYNAMO F.C. was to form a club that would offer the best coaching, the best competition and a total educational experience for players who wished to make a commitment to soccer. From the begining we wanted competitive teams chosen on merit with no guarantee of playing just by showing up:
Any player was welcome to try-out, but no coach would recruit from an existing team. This policy was strictly enforced, but once an assistant coach invited a player from another team to join us. When a complaint was made to Allen his response was swift: no transfer occurred and a formal apology was offered. We hoped that the quality of the coaching would become apparent from the results on the playing field. The educational experience would be gained by travelling to out-of-state tournaments, and hosting in Indianapolis, teams from other areas.
We wanted DYNAMO to be a unified club, not a series of disparate teams, so central functions were established. Funds were raised by a charge on each player, including the sons of coaches and managers. The club provided uniforms for each team, to be returned by the players at the end of each season. For reasons that need no explanation, socks were excluded from this requirement! The club also provided the balls, flags and practice cones, and we looked to the day when we would have funds to sponsor players who could not meet the team costs. It was agreed that DYNAMO would seek admission to the Central Indiana Youth Soccer Association and that all teams would enter the State Championship. It was part of the club philosophy that our teams would always honor their obligations, no matter how meaningless the result of the game might seem to be, and no DYNAMO team has deliberately forfeited a game. Deep in the DYNAMO lore is the incident of the coach, driving some of his team to a league game in Columbus, and being so occupied discussing tactics as he drove on I-65, that he drove for several miles on I-70 following the signs to Columbus, Ohio! When he finally linked-up with the rest of the team, his embarrassment said it all.
Another part of the DYNAMO philosophy was to create and maintain good relations with the soccer community in general. When the club was formed it was obvious that there would be a considerable impact on the J.C.C. program so Allen, Mike and Bobby met with the president and athletic director of the J.C.C. to explain our motives and ambitions. The meeting was a total success, and the Center representatives confirmed their support of the new club and endorsed the concept by offering us the use of their field until we could find one of our own.
In the early days all the DYNAMO teams tended to go to the same tournaments, so afterwards Bobby would write to the organizers expressing our appreciation for the invitation and our enjoyment of the tournament. Back home we carefully established close contacts with the Parks Department and the Director, Art Strong.
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
Many people have asked if the club name has subtle Eastern European connotations, perhaps borrowed from Moscow Dynamo, Dinamo Tirana, Dinamo Kiev or Dynamo Berlin. The answer is no. We wanted a simple, crisp name that would epitomize the action, drive and electrifying soccer that we hoped to produce. Despite the simplicity, one tournament director consistently referred to us as 'The Dominoes': on that occasion, however, we were not a push-over! The F.C. was pure chauvinism from Allen and Bobby: standing for Football Club, these initials are attached to the names of most British clubs, so we borrowed the tradition.
If the name owed something to romance and imagination the choice of club colors, white, red and black, was entirely pragmatic. We started with little money, and solid colors were cheaper to buy and easier to match for replacement. Also, in the Fall of 1979, no other team in the league wore white, so we did not immediately incur the expense of an alternate uniform. SOMEWHERE TO PLAY.
The euphoria of forming DYNAMO F.C. evaporated with the realisation that we had to find a field on which to play. While watching the Peace Games team practising at Lake Sullivan, Bill and Bobby paced out a flat area of grass where the BMX track now exists, and found that this would provide a large field. An approach to the Parks Department by Langdon Kumler, the League president, produced a permit to use the space for soccer, to be shared by DYNAMO and Saints under the aegis of the C.I.Y.S.A. The Parks Department agreed to cut the grass, the League generously provided goals and parents of both teams spent a weekend removing stones, rocks and boulders. A buried chimney breast from some long-forgotten dwelling was discovered and dug out, holes were filled, fertilizer was bought and spread, and the lines were marked.
The first game on the field was played on September 9th., 1979, between. DYNAMO and Bloomington. The first DYNAMO-Saints game was played twenty days later and ended, appropriately, in a 0-0 tie. The field was used for two years, and before each season the club purchased fertilizer, grass seed and top dressing, which the parents helped to spread. In 1981 we expanded to the area where the fields now exist, still sharing the facility with the Saints, purchasing two pairs of goals and now fertilizing and seeding four fields.
Plans for the velodrome had been announced,and the 'top' field was clearly identified in the drawing published in the 'Star'. Once destroyed by the construction process however, it was never restored.
The renovation of the Lake Sullivan complex was scheduled for early 1983 so a temporary home was needed, and here we benefited from the DYNAMO philosophy of good relationships. Art Strong told us that never before had a private group co-operated so well with the Department, or put so much into field maintenance, while ensuring that city property was used for the benefit of so many, and he offered us fields at 56th. and High School Road. DYNAMO moved out there at the start of 1983, and with Lake Sullivan again available in 1985, both areas remain in use today.
At the first annual meeting Sandra Behringer encouraged the club to submit to her short pieces on DYNAMO for publication, thus becoming the club's first press officer. Such exposure, especially when it described a DYNAMO success or travel to out-of-state tournaments, must have helped to attract potential players and spread the DYNAMO name.
The 'Topics' gave us generous coverage and Sandra saw that the pieces met the deadlines and space requirements. The 'Star' carried notices of our try-outs but, understanderably, were unable to offer specific coverage to one team in the city. Local television was attracted, and in 1982 Channel 13 sent Peggy and the Vantastics to interview the teams at practice, giving us publicity beyond our expectations.
From 1979 to 1983 the club charged each player $80 per year, and this covered registration fees for the League and tournaments, uniforms and incidentals. The first uniforms were generously sponsored by Producers International and Mike Vogel was adept at obtaining other sponsors, so that at the end of the first year DYNAMO were in the black -- just!
Bill Harvey and Mike felt that more sponsors might be attracted to support DYNAMO F.C. rather than individual teams, and in 1981 they prepared a club program filled with advertisements, but with copies for each team identifying the players. These were distributed to opponents and spectators at every game the team played, helping to establish the DYNAMO name more strongly. Of course, individual teams encouraged specific sponsors, and many parents raised money to cover costs of tournament travel or alternate uniforms. Teams also hosted DYNAMO parties and barbecues to raise funds, and these had the additional benefit of bringing together parents and players from all the teams and fostering a club identity.
The rapid expansion of DYNAMO soon outstripped the finances generated from the players, sponsors and parties, so Bill Harvey, Jim Durlacher and Steve Dutton started the process leading to tax exempt status. This was granted in 1982, the year that David Regenstrief became treasurer and Tom Eggers became vice-president. At last help was at hand to establish a solid financial foundation.
Right from the start DYNAMO has had tremendous support from the parents. During the first year the founders acted as one man ad hoc committees, but when Bill Harvey became club manager in 1980 he established a sense of order. It was Bill who suggested that each team appoint a manager to deal with team administration and who encouraged the club identity by preparing headed notepaper listing all the coaches. Mike and Bill also sought sponsors, sold the advertising space and established fledgling committees to expand these activities.
Bill McBride had been elected president of the C.I.Y.S.L. and he felt that to hold office in DYNAMO could create a conflict of interest. Bobby was elected as DYNAMO'S first president, but later the members of the League paid the club the compliment of re-electing Bill as president and electing Bobby as vice-president.
When tax exempt status was granted in 1982 DYNAMO became incorporated, with a duly appointed Board and officers. At this stage the club had grown so fast that the founders wished to see other parents involved, and for their expertise to be made available to the club. Our three lawyers attended to the formalities to ensure that all was correct. Bobby remained as president,, Tom Eggers became vice-president to succeed in 1983, and this logical progression has continued with John Bevelhimer (1984-85) and Ken Myers (1985-86). Financial planning was undertaken by Tom, committees were strengthened for the tasks that were now required, and from the continued growth of DYNAMO it would seem that the foundations had been soundly laid.
Second only to playing the game, we recognized the importance of coaching, so Allen and Mike assiduously sought and invited coaches who were experienced or had played soccer, trying to provide two coaches per team. To attract players we advertised in the 'Star' and the 'Topics', but this is no longer necessary as the reputation of the club and the players enthusiastic attitude with friends has attracted a steady supply of recruits. Although we ran try-outs at the same time for all the teams, the club's hegemony did not extend to player selection. Each coach was completely free to select his players, plan tactics and run the team as he wished, given the DYNAMO philosophies.
We have always encouraged players to attend other coaching courses, especially those at I.U. where three former players now assist Jerry Yeagley at his camps. Allen obtained the C and then the B coaching license from the U.S.S.F. and in 1983 the club was able to sponsor two coaches at a course where they earned their D license from the U.S.S.F. The adult team provides an opportunity for the coaches to continue playing and learning as well as enabling some of our older players to maintain their contact with the club. To most people the Indiana winter would signal a break from soccer, but Allen and Mike were not put off so easily. From 1981 DYNAMO organized Saturday indoor coaching at the J.C.C. and Sunday coaching at Park-Tudor. Players from these two institutions were welcomed and coached enthusiastically even if they had no affiliation to DYNAMO or played for rival teams. In this way we partially repaid our debt to the J.C.C. and Park-Tudor on whose fields we had played some of our games, continued our philosophy of fostering good relationships and put something back into Indiana youth soccer. Such was the mutual respect in these relationships that while neither the Center nor the School charged the club for their facilities, DYNAMO and Allen ensured that at the start of the spring season both programs had supplies of the latest in game balls and practice balls.
At the end of the Fall 1982 season, and before the indoor soccer started in January, the coaches met at Bobby's house on Saturdays to watch coaching videos. This further helped to strengthen club identity and gave the coaches a chance to compare drills and techniques, as well as seeing those used by professional coaches.
For personal reasons Ray Lord was no longer involved with DYNAMO, but during the winter Allen and Mike had attracted several new coaches and we approached the start of the season with high expectations. The club was now putting seven teams in the field, the older teams identified by the year of the players birth -- '65, '66, '67, and '68. In the younger teams we still were not able to limit ourselves to players born in the same year. For the first time we were able to achieve another of the founding philosophies and host teams from Illinois and Ohio for preseason exhibition games. Wyoming Cowboys, Centerville Spartans and Hilltop Panthers had all hosted or met us at tournaments, and it was a pleasure to be able to return some of their hospitality. As it turned out, the exhibition experience was so helpful that DYNAMO teams won four of the six divisions in the League.
It was no longer possible for all the teams to go to the same tournaments and out of state there was a lack of success as measured in terms of reaching finals or winning divisions. Back at home, however, it was a different story with the senior team in each age group reaching the State Championship Finals. The '65 team, still coached by Allen and Ken, retained their U-16 State Championship, and the '67 team, coached by Bobby, Fred McCoy and Bill Spencer won their first at U-14. Bill McBride's U-12 came third in their age bracket, to round out a remarkable season for the club. On to Minnesota for the mid-west Regional Championship. The '67 team reached the semi-final, only to lose in overtime to Ohio South, represented by our old friends and 1979 hosts, Queen City Musketeers. The draw had been less kind to the '65 team, and a first round defeat by North Olmsted, the perennial powerhouse representing Ohio North, showed that we still had something to learn.
Seven teams played again and the 'one-year' concept came to fruition with U-19, '66, '67, '68, '69, '70, and '71 teams. The growing demands of High School soccer affected the older teams, but despite this the U-19 and U-16 divisions fell to DYNAMO once more, with the '66 and '67 teams occupying the top two positions in the latter. That the younger teams were less dominant was probably attributable to the disruption caused by our efforts to put together players born in the same year.
The same seven teams entered the League and the U-19, '69 and '71 teams won their divisions with ease. The U-16 division went to Columbus but the '66 and '67 teams followed closely in second and third positions. The '66, '68 and '70 teams reached the State Championship Finals, played at Lake Sullivan for the second successive year, but medals were won only by the '70 team, coached by Ozzie Proano, who were runners-up to Carmel after a penalty shoot-out. For the U-19 age group the national competition, the McGuire Cup, is played as the State Championship and for the first time we were represented in the final, only to lose to a very strong Evansville side.
Most of the teams attended tournaments in Ohio, Missouri or Illinois, but this time we were in no danger of winning anything! Although DYNAMO started with high hopes, this was the first season in which we failed to win a State Championship. In only three years we had come so far, fielding seven teams for three seasons, absorbing the trauma of forming 'one-year' teams, expanding the coaching staff and the administrative functions, that 1982 could be marked as a year of solid consolidation.
Soccer was now a varsity sport in many High Schools so we did not field an U-19 team. Most of the '67 and '68 players were also involved with their school teams, but at the players request we entered both teams in the league. Without meeting for practice the '67 team won the U-16 division with a perfect record, possibly inspired by the promise that in 1983 they would be the first DYNAMO team to travel overseas.
About two weeks before the season started the manager and coach of the '70 team announced that they had formed the Washington Township Panthers and that almost all of the DYNAMO players had been encouraged to move with them. Tom Eggers and Brian O'Connor had stated that their boys would stay with DYNAMO, and they, together with Allen and Bobby met the parents and convinced two more to stay. It seems incredible, but within a week Allen had contacted sufficient new players to hold try-outs, two new coaches had been found, Tom and Brian dealt with the administration and co-ordination so that on the opening day of the League, DYNAMO '70 was playing.
The club had shown that it had the resilience to survive a crisis and any doubts about the long term growth must have been squashed at the September A.G.M. when Sid Heath proposed that an adult team be formed.
Before the home season started, Allen, Bobby and Phil Dyer took the '67 team to Britain where they played six matches in England, Scotland and Wales. On their return, a party was held so that the parents could see the slides and souvenirs and hear everything about the trip. Well, perhaps not quite everything! The club fielded eight teams and the adults, with five coaches and five former youth players enjoyed an auspicious first season in the Metro League. At the other end of the age scale, Fred McCoy introduced the '72 team. The U-19 team, coached by Tjepke Ledeboer and managed by Connie Kidd, won the Indiana section of the McGuire Cup for the first time, thus also becoming the U-19 State Champions. Unfortunately, in the next round they had the disappointment of a double-overtime time defeat by the Illinois champions, Mendoza of Granite City.
In the League only one division was won, the U-14B by David Ellenbogen's phoenix-like '70 team. This astonishing feat was accomplished with a perfect 12-0-0 record which included an immensely satisfying defeat of the Panthers. At Noblesville, the State Championships produced only one winner, the '67 team coached by Allen, Bobby and Ken. The victory in the final over Columbus Express provided revenge for the manner in which they had denied us the U-16 division title by the margin of one goal difference. Sid Heath's '69 team were runners-up and Bill McBride's '71 team came third in their respective age groups, so DYNAMO were still making their presence felt.
Out of state DYNAMO had a major success at last. At Reston, Va., the U-19 team reached the semi-final only to lose in a shoot-out, and at the Buckeye tournament the '67 team also suffered an overtime defeat in the semi-final. It was left to the '71 team at the Fort Hamilton (Cincinnati) tournament to carry all before them. In five games they scored 27 goals and conceded only 2, an emphatic way for the first DYNAMO team to win an out-of-state tournament. The mid-west Regional Championships were held in Omaha, and the sixteen hour journey was adequate retribution for winning the State Championship. Alas, the '67 team finished bottom of their division, but a tie with the eventual Championship winners in the 36th. game played in 112 days provided some consolation.
At the end of the season the club welcomed the formation of the '73 team and said farewell to another of the founders as Bobby moved to California.
AS OTHERS SEE US.
To have succeeded for eight years suggests that some, at least, of the DYNAMO philosophies must have been correct, and that the concept has proved attractive enough for others to want to keep it going. Occasionally, however, it is good to have this confirmed by outsiders. More than twenty former players are now playing college soccer, which may indicate that our attempt to provide good coaching has worked, and flattering articles such as that written by Becky Kapsalis are particularly gratifying.