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The Ultimate Soccer Mom

Published: Friday, May 4, 2012 5:17 p.m. CST
Caption
(Herald Photo by Lisa Pesavento — lpesavento@morrisdailyherald.com)
Morris resident Cindie Hunt has logged thousands of miles to watch her three kids play soccer.

Five hundred-plus gallons of sports drinks.

In the neighborhood of 850 peanut butter sandwiches.

An average of 25 gallons of gas used in the family vehicle per week at peak times.

Not to mention hundreds of trips to McDonald's and Hardee's restaurants over the years.

These are the numbers that Morris resident and ultimate soccer mom Cindie Hunt estimates it has taken to properly attend to her family over the years.

"It's a scary thought breaking it down that way," she said when presented with the idea that the family has consumed 1,016 bottles of sports drinks on game days alone.

"It's probably closer to 2,000 if you include practices. I should have invested in Pepsico years ago."

Hunt's daughters, Jordan and Danielle Cummings, and son, Mason Hunt, have been the recipients of all that attention and focus over the years. Both Cindie and her husband, Jeff, have been working with and shuttling the three kids to and from soccer games for the past 15 years or so.

Jordan and Dani are both seniors in high school, where Jeff coaches them both. Mason, who is also coached by Jeff, is 12 years old and in his fifth year of playing soccer.

"By the end of Dani and Jordan's high school season, I will have attended 425 games, so far, for all three of our kids. It's 342 games for the twins alone," Cindie said. "Jeff has coached the girls for 257 games and 83 of Mason's. We have traveled all over the Midwest with the girls' travel program. The only months we are off of soccer is December and January."

Jordan and Dani are identical twins who began playing soccer at the age of 5. It was then that the now-infamous story about Cindie signing Jeff up to coach without his knowledge took place. Cindie volunteered Jeff, went to the library to check out a book on coaching soccer, and handed it to him when he came home from working at ComEd that evening.

"Lynn Picardo had called our home to let us know that the twins would be on her husband Dom's soccer team. Towards the end of the phone call, I just said, 'If there is anything you need, just let us know'," Cindie said. "She then explained that Dom did not have an assistant coach and that if, by chance, Jeff could help out, that would be great.

"So, I told her that Jeff did not know anything about soccer, but would help. I then loaded all the kids in the car and headed to the library. I searched what books they had for coaching soccer and there was a real basic one. I checked it out and when he came home from work I said, "Guess what?"

Just like that, Jeff was coaching soccer and the Hunts were running down soccer dreams.

According to Cindie, it was a chance to help the kids stay fit and active.

"We lived in Coal City and decided when the girls were around 5 to sign them up for soccer to give them something to do," she said.

The only problem was that one of the twins needed a little coaxing just to take the field.

"The first night of practice, Jordan ran onto the field, but Dani would not. She was scared and nervous. Brian and Kelly Clausen were their coaches," Cindi said. "Kelly came over and was hugging Dani and gave her reassurance that it would be OK. Dani finally went out on to the field with Kelly. It meant a lot to me that Kelly did that."

Cindie and Jeff took the kids back and forth and to and from soccer games over the years in the family's Toyota Sequoia before switching to a Chrysler Pacifica a couple of weeks ago.

"It was nice for going back and forth and had great room for all of their equipment bags. I just traded it in due to gas mileage/prices since we will be traveling to go watch the girls play in college," Cindie said. "We do drive to every location.

"The girls played travel in Homer Glen, so we drove six6 hours every week just for practice. For games, we traveled within a two-hour radius, one way. That is about 500 miles a week. In the spring, since they play for the high school, it drops a bit due to practices being local, but some of our away games are pretty far, so like all parents, you have those fuel expenses also."

Another expense, as expected, is consumables by the family to and from practice and to and from games.

"On game days, the girls try make sure they eat a lot of good proteins. Mason, being 12, really doesn't worry about that stuff yet," Cindie said. "My kids do better and feel better having peanut butter sandwiches (no jelly) before games and lots of water. Dani and Jordan prefer water during the game, and not Gatorade until after the game is over. But Mason loves Gatorade and goes through two a game."

And afterward?

"Mason is a typical kid and loves McDonald's. What is kinda funny, being in the conference Morris is in, when we travel out west, if the town has a Hardee's, we are there," Cindie said. "We will stop after the games for it because we do not have it local any longer." 

With all those miles, meals and years, Cindie says she has only missed a handful of games in that span.

"I have missed three of Dani and Jordan's games. I was out of town for the NAR Convention for work," Cindie said. "I did have to miss a couple more of Mason's this past fall due to the twins having games and Jeff and I had to split-up because he coaches Mason in MSA."

All three kids say they appreciate the effort that mom has made over the years — in a great number of ways.

"My mom has been to every game that she can. She is always there to cheer me on and help me on the field," Mason said. "She has helped me become a better soccer player by telling me what I need to work on and get better at. I like to play defense and she will help tell me when there is another player I need to help cover."

Jordan and Danielle know more than anyone that their mom is the best at what she does.

"My mom is the definition of the ultimate soccer mom. She is at every game, cheering us on and supporting me, my brother and my sister," Danielle said. "She helps calm my nerves before a game, she knows just what to say to get you pumped up and ready.

"She is also there afterward to point out what you did well and what you need to fix. My mom is the biggest fan one could have. She is the best and I could not ask for a better mother."

She is the ultimate soccer mom, fan and hero, according to Jordan.

"Words can't explain how amazing and special it is to have an ultimate soccer mom. She goes out of her way to help everyone on the team and always gives us pep talks," Jordan said. "My mom always tells me how she is my biggest fan and always will support me.

"I have always looked up to her and considered myself lucky to have such a wonderful mom. She is not just a mom or an ultimate soccer mom to me, she is my hero."

According to Jeff, Cindie also has served as coach, scout, spotter, statistician and cheerleader.

"Cindie has always been involved with the kids and their soccer teams. She is always helping me out with coaching. She is like a scout, looking up scores, comparing opponents, finding out who their big players are," Jeff said.

"She has always been very helpful with that. During games, she's also my eye in the sky. She helps me see things that I might not be able to see from the sidelines."

"We share a lot of information about the players before and after games. She has also been taking stats for me over the past two years," he added. "She can tell at a quick glance what is working well and what is not working so well.

"I always look for her in the stands or in the press box at home. It's just not game time until I see her sitting there. Cindie has always put the kids first and has been their biggest cheerleader. To me, that's what makes her the ultimate mom, not just a soccer mom."

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