The German Hungarians continued our tradition of traveling to this tournament usually held in the Midwest. Since our return to the competition in 2010, we have made the trip every year except once (Milwaukee in 2013) and each year the excitement grows among our Team and Superfans. Expectations were high when we left Oakford with a strong squad of players, a combo of our Major-Reserve, U23s and a few guests – and Superfans who always provide the best support for our boys in red and black. Mother nature had different plans for us this year. Mansfield received a lot of rain during the week leading up to the tournament, soaking their fields which were otherwise in immaculate condition. By kickoff of our first game the field turned to a mud pit (the staff may still be working to get that Mansfield mud out of our white kits). Our first game against local Akron was a sign of things to come. Frustrating conditions lead to mistakes and missed chances early. But the games would continue and you need to put the ball into the back of the net to win and we weren’t able to do that over the course of the weekend. Congratulations to the Carpathia Kickers from Detroit for raising the newly dedicated “Mike Talan Wanderpokal” for the first time!
A few people need to be thanked for their special support. Our SUPERFANS — we couldn’t run this trip the way we do each year without their support – both financially and during the course of the weekend. They are more than spectators as they help with beverages, ice, equipment, laundry, you name it, even creating our very own “Oakford Central” on the grounds of the Mansfield Liederkranz.
This year we put out a fundraising request asking to provide financial contributions to assist in getting our players to Mansfield. Within a week of the request, we were more than half way to our goal which was accomplished by the time we boarded the bus westward. The following members and alumni deserve a special Thank You and acknowledgement:
Brian Blesi, Ray DeStephanis, Eric Drewenskus, Bill Galgon, Jason Karasow, Betty Ann Kempf, Steve Friend, Emily Fricker, Marlene Fricker, Michael Fricker, Jonathan Ryan Moseley, Erwin & Kathi Stielow, Jack Tombaugh.
We are proud to be the hosts of this great, historic tournament next season. We look forward to seeing everyone in 2018 in Oakford, PA!
Werner Fricker III