Inducted 2011. The Number of Victories, Goals Scored and Shutouts are All School Records.
There are no state tournament trophies in the trophy case to certify the greatness of this team, but no discussion of the best boys soccer teams in QND history is complete without the 1978 squad.
The Raiders, coached by Al Knepler, won 25 of 27 games and won their first 19 games. They outscored their opponents by a total of 156-12, and they posted 17 shutouts, opening the season with eight straight. Four players went on to play college soccer. The number of victories, goals scored and shutouts are all school records.
The team had three standout offensive players — Gary Koetters, Jim Thomas and David White. Koetters scored a school record 47 goals and also earned all-American honors. Thomas scored 23 goals and also was named to the all-state team. White had 24 goals and a team-high 19 assists. The postseason schedule for the one-class system in 1978 called for a round-robin format in the sectional round, so even though Granite City had lost its first game in the sectional, it defeated Notre Dame 1-0 to advance to the state tournament. Granite City went on to win its second of five consecutive state titles, shutting out all three teams in the state tournament.
Team members were, front row from left, Jeff Goosens and Anthony Schelich, second row, Bruce Hall, Jim Strieker, Gary Koetters, Jim Thomas, David White, Mike Schmitt, Tim Thomas, Dave Liesen, Jim Venvertloh, Dan Arns and Dan Brink; third row, Al Knepler, Brad Winking, Jim Frankenhoff, Carl Craven, Tim Terwelp, Dan O’Brien, Dave Rakers, Mike Siebers, Joe Barber, Pat O’Neill, Steve Liesen and Manager Doug Shade.
On behalf of the 1978 soccer team, I would like to thank the Hall of Fame Committee for bestowing this great honor, not only on our great team but on a great group of men. The 1978 Raiders set the bar high for the future teams to strive to reach the level of play this great team displayed. After 33 years, the 1978 Raiders still own many team and individual school records. I have so many great memories of this super group of guys. I could never put them all down on paper. I would like to thank my players, the support staff, the cheerleaders, parents and great fans. You were all instrumental in making this season one that none of us will ever forget. — Coach Al Knepler