Stephenville Soccer Association recently honored one of its own.
James Michael "Mike" Lingle, who passed away earlier this year, became the initial inductee at a dedication ceremony for the association's Wall of Honor. The wall, sponsored by Quest F.C., recognizes individuals whose contributions have had a major impact on soccer in Stephenville, according to Cary Strohmeyer, SSA board president.
For more than 15 years, Mike was an integral part of the Stephenville Soccer Association.
Mike's wife, Nancy, and sons, Isaac and Dustin, accepted the honor on his behalf on May 19 during the annual SSA City of Champions Tournament.
Strohmeyer said Mike was named the first in what will grow to be a long line of inductees honored for their tireless efforts in promoting the sport.
In 1997, Mike participated in a G level soccer coaching clinic that sparked for him a new passion. From there, he advanced to become a National D level licensed coach.
Like so many of the men and women who helped make SSA what it is today, Mike's drive to be an active participant in children's lives led him to coach both of his sons' teams as they advanced from the U6 age group through competitive classic league action.
Mike was also a founding member of Quest F.C., a local competitive club, which formed with along with Lane Sharp, Harold Rathburn and Jim Muir. The club was founded on the principle of making a higher level of play available to Stephenville area players at a minimal cost.
Mike’s 1998 boys team advanced through the Arlington Premier League to play in the prestigious Boys Classic League.
Through his dedication to the sport, Mike also became involved as a referee and dedicated his time for several years as a Grade 8 referee and the SSA’s licensed referee assignor. He also served for several years on the SSA board of directors as the U8 Boys commissioner, referee assignor and adult commissioner.
Mike also worked tirelessly at the soccer association complex lining fields, repairing goals and nets and providing any plumbing assistance and parts that were needed to maintain the facilities.