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Germantown alumnus provides a link to hoops of the past

Record book is a work in progress

July 18, 2011

Germantown alumnus Len Anhold graduated in 1987, a year before his brother, Dan, led the Warhawks basketball team to one of the program's finest seasons.

Len led the team in scoring his final season, and has kept a close watch on his alma mater's progress in the intervening years, even as life has led him to his current residence in Janesville.

He has taken, like many alumni of the basketball program have, vicarious pleasure in the program's raging success of the past decade that has been filled with conference titles and state berths.

But as he kept track of his son, Adam's, AAU team and kept the squad's stats, he wanted to do something more, and so he started digging. He made trips to Germantown, went to the library, dug up stats, tracked down elusive people, utilized the Germantown HOOPS Club as a resource and has created an entertaining, numbers and photo-filled online boys basketball record book, that in his mind, is still maddeningly incomplete.

Too which, he has included this plea for help:

"Editor's Note - this book is based on available stats/facts. There are still more out there somewhere, we have just not put our hands on them yet. If you are reading this and have stats available, please send them to lenanhold@yahoo.com and they will be included in the next edition."

And the following disclaimer:

"I hope everything is accurate, I am acting as my own editor, which is like the fox watching the hen house."

Jogging a few memories

The book has been distributed via email to members of the board of the Germantown HOOPS organization, the boys basketball booster club which helped him produce it, as well as to members of the media. Anhold is hoping that that the HOOPS organization puts it up on its website (germantownhoops.org).

"I'm just hoping that this thing gets around and someone still has stat packets like those that Ritz (former coach Chuck Ritzenthaler) used to pass out," he said. "It would just be nice to have a complete record."

As it stands, team stats are spotty at best. There are none available from 1957-1978, 1980-85, 1995-2001 and 2003-2005. Anhold did his best to compile individual, game and team records and has a fairly thorough top 50 scoring list but knows that there are numbers out there that would change some of these lists dramatically.

"I spent a few hours (laughs) in the Germantown library and (former teammate) Mike Francolucci had some stuff, too, but we could use more."

Anhold credited Francolucci, his brother, Dan, current coach Steve Showalter, Jill Showalter, Dennis Kloth and Rob Averkamp for also helping out with stats and information.

The result was a painstakingly crafted, effort-filled 25-page history lesson that still has many finely polished nuggets of information (early affiliations and conference history, lists of captains) as well as some marvelous photos (some from our NOW online files).

Anhold includes biographies and photos of the top five all-time scorers including Ben Averkamp, Zak Showalter, Dick Strack, Paul Wagner and Jerry Vance (love the 1970s-fashionable shades, Jerry).

He also has photos and biographies of almost all the coaches (you have to admire the wonderfully cheesy mustache of a circa-1980s Rich Anderson and honestly, was Kloth ever as young as he looked in his picture?).

Anhold also tracked down a photo and some information on 1968-1970 coach Chuck Hudson. Hudson didn't have a great record in that time, but left an indelible impact anyway as Anhold pointed out that the late 30-year teaching veteran wrote a detailed thesis on the early history of Germantown athletics that was invaluable to Anhold in creating the record book.

Current team record-breaking

But even in drawing upon the deep past, Anhold can't help but express pride at the accomplishments of this most recent decade and the wonderful future the program has.

He cites the school record for victories that was set last year (24), and the likely next all-time career scoring leader in Zak Showalter (he is less than 100 points behind two-time all-stater Ben Averkamp heading into his senior year) and the renewed pride and vigor that all-time coaching leader Steve Showalter has injected into Germantown basketball.

"It has been an impressive last 11-12 years," he said, "because some of those older records had stood for years and years, and last year, a bunch more were set. When I was watching the Falls game (last winter) I thought that (soon-to-be junior post) Luke Fischer was going break Randy Reiner's single game record (41 points set in 1983)."

Fischer didn't break the record but you could understand Anhold's excitement in seeing one old mark after another get challenged and then fall.

He has been so pleased with the turnaround and success of the program that coach Steve Showalter has engineered (177-78). Remember, that for years prior to Showalter's arrival, the Germantown boys basketball program had to hang its hat on a 15-7 season in 1959-60 and two Scenic Moraine Conference titles in 1972-73 and 1973-74 as well as that 15-6 record of 1987-88 that featured Anhold's brother.

And there wasn't a lot in between or after those campaigns to go on either.

Anhold hopes this look to the past provides a door to the future and maybe prods some people to look in their basements, attics or garages and pull out a dusty old folder with some precious stats in it that can help him make this record complete.

Because, remember, like basketball, history is often a fluid and moving thing.

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