May 22, 2022

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Only The Finest Women

Cortland woman spreads love of the beautiful game | News, Sports, Jobs

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CORTLAND — Cathie Licht loves soccer and thinks everybody really should be able to participate in it.

“You’re generally jogging. You’re always acquiring to consider — what is the subsequent factor you’re heading to do, where by to pass the ball, shoot the ball,” Licht explained of the sport. She extra, admittedly, “I don’t sit nevertheless pretty properly.”

Licht, 63, a soccer participant, coach and referee and the services supervisor at Farmer Jim’s Sporting activities Complicated in Cortland, came to the activity later on in existence. She took curiosity soon after her children, then 4 and 5 several years previous, started off enjoying in in 1989. She didn’t enjoy herself right up until she was an grownup.

This is regardless of the reality that Licht’s parents ended up from Belfast, Northern Eire, in which the activity is well-liked. Licht’s father played and began her brother participating in, but that by no means seriously took off, she reported.

Licht was born and elevated in Michigan, exactly where she satisfied and married her husband, Monthly bill. His work introduced them to many components of Ohio, until they settled in Cortland some 28 decades in the past.

She begun coaching soccer when her little ones ended up youthful, then commenced participating in herself — initial with a women’s workforce, then co-ed.

“It was a ton of exciting, but it was really hard discovering some thing (as an adult),” Licht explained. As a kid she pace skated and ran track, but she by no means had to kick a ball, she said.

From there, Licht began coaching area leisure leagues and then coached Lakeview ladies soccer for 15 years, which she uncovered significantly enjoyable.

“The ladies needed to play. They desired to obviously do very well — earn for their school and crew and delight and every little thing,” Licht reported.

Believing absolutely everyone should really be capable to enjoy soccer, Licht started off the nearby chapter of TOPsoccer about 16 yrs ago. TOPsoccer is for youngsters and adults with exclusive wants who would have problems taking part in in a frequent league.

“We sluggish the recreation down for them so they can catch up and engage in,” Licht reported. “They can master the activity and just have it at their very own tempo.”

Cortland TOPsoccer averages about 40 players a year. Mother and father line up on the sidelines to view kids enjoy at Pearl Park, just like they would at any other soccer game, Licht stated.

Licht started the regional chapter for her daughter, Britan, who is special requirements. Britan, now 38, nevertheless performs TOPsoccer, trying to keep Licht included.

Licht has experienced her USSF regional referee license for about 25 decades. Refereeing for large universities in Trumbull and Mahoning counties keeps Licht occupied in the drop. Refereeing also has taken her to several states and Canada — which is no trouble because Licht loves traveling.

Though she hasn’t been trying to keep keep track of of particularly how many states she’s frequented, Licht guesses she’s been in most of them. When her son, Kyle, played aggressive soccer, traveling around the place, the relatives turned his game titles into minor vacations.

Licht’s preferred location to take a look at, of course, is Ireland, exactly where she even now has aunts, uncles and cousins. Her following trip to the island will be for her nephew’s marriage ceremony in Oct.

“I really don’t believe men and women notice what’s out there in this planet,” Licht said. “There’s so several beautiful, wonderful sites to see and enjoyable items to do and if you do not travel, you are just heading to hear about it or see it on Tv set. I’d instead see it in particular person.”

She thinks she received her adore of traveling from her father, who likewise was a wanderer, and passed it on to her son, who will “travel all the time.”

She especially enjoys visiting nationwide parks and currently being outside the house, which is another draw to soccer. For the most section, soccer is played outside — other than at Farmer Jim’s, where by the indoor soccer fields are open all winter. Licht, who has labored there about 26 years, organizes the leagues and retains soccer clinics for young children as youthful as 3 years outdated.

In her no cost time, she golfs, and she used to ride her bike, while she’s recently traded that in for a Jeep.

Licht and her spouse have been married 40 years. He was more of a baseball and football man or woman right up until Licht bought into soccer, but he “learned quite quickly” about the activity and now is concerned in it, way too, Licht stated.

Licht stated she is fired up to get back again outside for summer months participate in, and sign ups for TOPsoccer’s fall time are starting soon. Anyone fascinated in signing up a participant can electronic mail [email protected]

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