Soccer Almanac

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WSFA-LSAFL 1920-21 season

Nov. 28, 2022 |  Categories:  LSAFL   Wisconsin  

The Lake Shore Association Football League reorganized for the 1920-21 season. During the summer, the league negotiated with a number of Milwaukee teams (including Falk Company, Allis Chalmers and Indian Motorcycle) to join the league. The league also considered establishing a First and Second Division. The former would be made up of stars and veterans while the latter would be composed of amateur teams.

The league expected all six teams from the prior season to return with Ernst Books reorganized to represent Kenosha's American Brass Company. By September, the LSAFL was down to only four teams. The Milwaukee teams decided not to join the league and the LSAFL dropped the Milwaukee All-Stars and former Ernst Books squad.

The league again schedule a double round-robin competition split into fall and spring halves. The league began the last Sunday of September and ran through the end of October.

Difficulties immediately occurred around the Zion City team. The town of Zion was founded by the leader of the evangelical Christian Catholic Apostolic Church and practically controlled by the church's leader, Wilbur Glenn Voliva. The Zion City officials warned league teams to stay away. Due to this Simmons decided not to travel to play Zion City on Sunday, September 25.

Zion City's next home match was Sunday, October 9 against the Horlicks. The prior morning Zion City's mayor Glenn Benning and chief of police Becker went to Racine to warn the Horlick manager J. S. Allan not to play in Zion. They advised the Horlick manager that players would be arrested the minute they stepped onto the field in uniform.

On Sunday, as soon as the Horlick team stepped onto the Marshall Field soccer grounds they were confronted by a Mr. Wards, a special representative of Voliva. The chief of police and a number of policeman appeared and manager Allan asked for warrants. Becker produced two "John Doe" warrants and took two men to jail. Horlick president Hiram James and utility player Jack Tarre put on Horlick uniforms and stated they were ready to be "pinched". Warrants were served and the pair were taken before a justice and bound over to municipal court for trial the next Wednesday on charges of violating Zion ordinances. They game was played with the teams drawing 2-2.

Mr. Andersen, manager of the Marshall Field Zion City team, told Horlick players that his company was anxious to have a test case tried in order to stop the Zion officials from breaking up their games. The Marshall Field company paid bail and the two jailed Horlick members returned home with the team members. Marshall Field attorneys from Chicago represented them in court.

With that case ongoing, the Zion City team played two away matches prior to their next scheduled home match on October 30 against the MacWhytes. That club's manager, R. B. Whyte, received word at the last moment that officials at Zion had deputized 50 men to interfere with the staging of the match and that the team had better not attempt to play the game. The match was cancelled due to the issue. Zion officials thought that MacWhyte and the Zion City team were attempting to play a surprise match at Zion the following Sunday. Voliva sent out an order for his deputies to mobilize and be ready to act but manager Andersen of the Zion City team informed the deputies that there was no plan to stage a match.

Simmons ended the fall half at the top of the LSAFL with four wins and one draw. The Simmons club also made two Wisconsin soccer firsts that fall. The team became the first Wisconsin club to take part in the National Challenge Cup. On November 7, 1920 Simmons hosted Pullman F.C. of Chicago in the Second Round of the Illinois and Wisconsin District. Simmons beat Pullman 2-1 before 1000 at the new Simmons Athletic Field. On November 28, 1920 the Bricklayers F.C. of Chicago beat Simmons 2-0 at Simmons Athletic Field before 2000 fans in a Third Round match.

Two weeks later Simmons became the first Wisconsin team to take part in the Peel Cup beating the Young Men's Hebrew Association of Chicago 4-1 before 3000 at Alverna Field. The Wisconsin teams took the traditional winter break before returning in mid-April of 1921.

On Sunday, April 24, Simmons drew Gary 2-2 in the second round of the Peel Cup before 3000 at Gary. The next Sunday, Simmons beat Gary at home 2-1. Two weeks later, Simmons hosted Pullman F.C. in the Peel Cup semifinals. The 1800 in attendance at Simmons Athletic Field saw the home squad win 2-1. Pullman protested the match over they playing of Bob Patterson who they alleged was a professional player imported from Canada. The Peel Cup commission denied the request.

The Lake Shore league was due to begin its spring half on April 17 but the first matches were postponed by a blizzard. The following Sunday replay between MachWhyte and Horlick was also postponed because a number of MacWhyte players were on the Simmons team taking part in the Peel Cup match against Gary. Another attempt of the match on the following Sunday was called off due to the Simmons vs. Gary Peel Cup replay.

In April, the Municipal league of Milwaukee, with eight teams, finally came under the jurisdiction of the U.S.F.A. That meant that games between the teams of the Lake Shore league could be played with the Milwaukee teams in the future. LSAFL officials met with the Milwaukee teams to potentially combine the two organizations. It was decided that four of the Milwaukee teams, would enter the Wisconsin cup with the Lake Shore teams. The Wisconsin state cup would run from late May and the final was held on June 26 at Milwaukee. MacWhyte beat Indian Motorcycle 4-0 to win the Uihlein Cup.

Simmons was scheduled to play Bricklayers F.C. on June 5 in the Peel Cup final at Bricklayers Park. Just two days before, the Peel Cup president reversed his decision on the Pullman protest and ordered Simmons to play Pullman that Sunday. Pullman defeated Simmons 2-0 at Bricklayers Park in the semifinal replay. Soon after Simmons wrote to the U.S.F.A. on appeal for a ruling. The result stood.

No matches of the spring half of the 1920-21 season were ever played. The number of postponements was one factor. But a bigger factor was the loss of players. Because of a lack of employment in Racine, many former players left for other cities. That left Horlick barely able to put together a team. The recent economic downturn was felt by the other clubs as well. The fall half of the 1920-21 season would be the last for the Lake Shore Association Football League.

©2022 by Daniel Creel. All rights reserved.