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Women's soccer sets Sail in Hood River

Sue Farro leads troops into battle

By DAVE LEDER

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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