Madison 56ers received the Mike Kabanica Club Recognition Award from the Wisconsin Amateur Soccer Association (WSA) at its 2007 Hall of Fame ceremony. Ron Holzhueter accepted the award on behalf of the Madison 56ers. Ron is the longest serving president in the 56ers' club history, having spent ten years leading the club in the 1970s and 80s. He is also the second-longest serving official in the history of the Madison 56ers, and an early WSA Hall of Fame selection in 1992. The Mike Kabanica Award is named after the longest serving president in WSA history, who was both a WSA and a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) Hall of Fame selection. The Mike Kabanica Award is given by the WSA to a club that has demonstrated a history of service to the WSA and the sport of soccer in Wisconsin.
According to Charles Billings, past president of the 56ers and the club's unofficial historian and current corporation secretary, the Madison 56ers Soccer Club has been a member of the Wisconsin Soccer Association since 1956. It is one of the few WSA members that have reached fifty years of continuous membership. "More importantly," says Billings, "the Madison 56ers have represented the highest standards of the WSA and Wisconsin soccer during all these years. In their competitiveness, sportsmanship, and commitment to the WSA, the Madison 56ers have been a credit to and worthy representative of the WSA and the Wisconsin soccer community throughout the United States."
Competitively, the Madison 56ers have won championships at every level of WSA competition, adult and youth, male and female. They have successfully represented the WSA in regional and national competitions at every level as well. The 56ers are one of just two WSA members to win the United States Amateur Soccer Association (USASA) Region 2 and USSF Amateur Championships.
"Administratively, the Madison 56ers and its members either directly, or in partnership with others, are responsible for most of the significant soccer developments in south-central Wisconsin during the last fifty years," adds Billings, citing the creation of the UW-Madison men's and women's soccer programs, the Madison Area Youth Soccer Association, the WSA Capital Region, the WSA Women's and Over-30 leagues, and the start of varsity high school soccer in the Madison area schools. Most recently, the 56ers promoted the return of affiliated adult soccer to the Madison area with the creation of a National Premier Soccer League team.
"Perhaps most importantly, the Madison 56ers have both consistently promoted and practiced good sportsmanship in all its competitive endeavors," Billings says." They have deservedly been widely recognized by opponents and game officials for competitive but fair play."
The Madison 56ers Soccer Club is proud to receive the WSA's Mike Kabinica Club Recognition Award, and would like to thank its membership community for volunteering at so many levels to promote excellence in soccer in Wisconsin.