Lorain County Community College- 17 and more!
I admit it – I am totally biased – and although more taxes wrankles I wish to tell you “WHY I AM” totally biased when it comes to Lorain County Community College.
The year was 1999- my son Chris was graduating from Lorain Catholic High School – he had absolutely no idea of a career path. All Chris felt he was good at and enjoyed was soccer- and 9 colleges thought so too- he had offers from Division 1, 2, and 3 colleges BUT playing soccer in college doesn’t get you a living wage- especially in this country. He worried he would get himself into a career choice he would eventually hate.
We talked for many hours- I suggested Lorain County Community College– after all he could take his core courses and experiment in others.
“They don’t have a soccer team”
I had heard they were bringing back Club Sports so I said to my son-
“So start one!”
He duly called Dr. Church who put him in touch with Dick Roth and Laurie Carlberg HPER- these faculty members took a chance on a graduating high school senior and guided him through the process of starting the Men’s Club Soccer program at LCCC.
Since it was the “first” team , everything had to be done from scratch, from fields, goal posts , recruiting ,lining the fields, purchasing of equipment, finding /interviewing a coach there was a lot of preparation that summer , even to whom could drive the vans to away games. LCCC supported the passion of an incoming freshman and helped him mature, they gave him the responsiblity of “Student Team Manager” and they gave him “life experience”
A lot was riding on that initial program when it came to the return of “club sports” at the college but still they took the chance and supported Chris and his vision for the team- even when he spent most of the money in the budget for the uniforms- those uniforms were the top of the line.
” We are going to be playing wealthy colleges- we are going to get some trash talk until we earn their respect on the field- we are going to “look like a top team” from the moment we get on the field- the uniform will help with that”
And they did – the team that year not only looked good they won all but one game scoring 59 goals and giving up 6.
LCCC and HPER gave Chris the opportunity to share his talent with the kids who attended the College for Kids programs for two summers.
Chris was not the greatest academic- I suggested that since he only ever got A’s in art from Mr. Cataldo at LCHS he take some art courses to help the grade point average.
It was LCCC that discovered my son’s talent in graphic design – they nurtured him and then it was LCCC that helped him transfer and get a transfer scholarship to Cleveland Institute of Art. LCCC faculty wrote letters of recommendation and made the phone calls to help him in his desire to attend CIA.
Lorain County Community College, apart from giving him an “education” in the accepted sense also helped form the young man , my son, into a man- they gave him a sense of accomplishment, a can do even in the face of difficulty and a work ethic that stayed with him. Chris, I am sure, was not alone in that regard,
LCCC does MORE than provide an excellent education – it builds character in young men and women – LCCC guides them and readies them for the “real world”
Both my children went to LCCC- one finished with her BA from Cleveland State University and Chris with a BFA from CIA thanks in part to the staff at LCCC.
Chris’ sister, Nikki ,has set up a scholarship at Lorain County Community College
The Chris Ritchey Leadership Award
“This award is intended to support part-time or full-time students attending Lorain County Community College and who are active in club sports- soccer or other club sports.
Preference will be given to a Lorain County Community College soccer player/ or other club sport- who displays both leadership and strength in character on the playing field and in academics.
Note: If you wish you contribute to the Chris Ritchey Leadership Award please contact
Debra L. Richter
Alumni and Scholarship Coordinator
Lorain County Community College Foundation
1005 N. Abbe Road
Elyria, OH 44035
440.366.7758 – Office
440.366.4078 – Fax
AND even in these trying times I would please ask you to also support the young men and women who walk through those doors each semester and to please consider voting for Issue 17 – because LCCC gives more than just a degree !