Women's soccer sets Sail in Hood River

Sue Farro leads troops into battle


News staff writer

Sue Farro lives soccer.

She's a player, a coach and a devoted soccer mom. And despite the slew of practices, games, and practice games she attends each week, she relishes every minute of it.

"My commitment is the driving force," she said. "It seems like I'm always out there. But I love what I do."

As much as her love for soccer has become a way of life, Farro admits to enjoying a little break during the summer months -- relatively speaking, that is.

Compared to the schedule she'll endure from mid-August through October, when she will attend roughly 60 games, four days a week must seem like a vacation.

"Things get pretty busy in the fall," Farro said. "From now until Halloween, I'll be involved seven days a week."

In other words, that's every day. Full time. No breaks.

When her Hood River Valley High School girls don't have pracÿtice, her 12-year-old boys team usually does. And when neither team has a practice or a game, her Full Sail women's team almost always does.

With all her coaching and famiÿly commitments, one wonders how Farro finds time to play in a women's league -- in Portland, no less.

"We're pretty dedicated," Farro said of her team. "Driving to Portland every week is worth it because we all just want to play."

Farro organized the team in the early 90s when she moved to White Salmon from Boulder, Colo. She began recruiting other local women and eventually had enough players to join Northwest United Women's Soccer out of Portland -- a league of about 65 teams. A core group of eight local women play on the Full Sail team, with 12 Portland-area women to round out the roster.

"We made history in Hood Rivÿer because we're the first womÿen's team ever to come out of the area," Farro said. "The only probÿlem with that is there aren't many opportunities to play locally."

Farro explained that it can be a challenge to convince Portland teams to drive to Hood River, which means the local contingent is happy to play anyone, includÿing youth teams.

For now, Full Sail will continue to play its games in Portland -- two seasons of 15 games each -- and hold weekly practices year round in Hood River. Any women interested in playing are encourÿaged to turn out.

Farro stressed that the driving forces behind the team are the competition and the comraderie, not individual skills.

"Wins and losses aren't really important," she said. "We've always been about having fun."

Fun is a full-time job for Sue Farro and those who know her would agree that she puts her heart and soul into it.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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