IW soccer tourney supports cancer Relay

Published 10:58 pm Saturday, February 18, 2012

Josh and Stacey Caterbone stand with their soccer-playing sons, Parker, 12, and Aiden, 7. In 2010, the Caterbones, of Suffolk, started a soccer tournament in Carrollton that raises money for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

By Titus Mohler

February 25th and 26th will mark the 3rd Annual Kickin’ It for Cancer Soccer Tournament held at Nike Park in Carrollton under the banner of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and the Smithfield Soccer Club.

The event has grown by leaps and bounds each year, raising nearly $35,000 to date, but it had a very simple beginning. Looking beyond the high-profile names like the ACS and Relay for Life, the tournament was founded and is organized yearly by a local couple, Josh and Stacey Caterbone of Suffolk.

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Their reasons for starting the event were quite personal.

“First, it was the summer of 2009,” Stacey recalled. “[Josh’s] aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer. Then, my mom passed away suddenly from lung cancer in December of [2009].”

Shortly after having had back surgery, her mother had been complaining of pain in her hips and experienced trouble getting up and walking around. The surprising cause turned out to be cancer that had metastasized from her lung into her bones.

“She was diagnosed the weekend before Thanksgiving,” Stacey said, “and she passed away December 12th.”

She was 62.

“When my mom passed away, I didn’t want flowers. I wanted [money] to go to a cause, and that’s how I got into the Relay For Life.”

Josh and Stacey were drawn to Relay for Life, because it raises money for research into all cancers.

After hearing about his aunt’s diagnosis, Josh got an idea.

“He wanted to do something with raising money and something that we love, which is soccer,” Stacey said.

They have two soccer players in their house, their sons Parker, 12, and Aiden, 7, so the sport was a natural choice to combine with the cause.

In 2010, the first tournament featured 33 teams, all of which were local. In 2011, they had 46, and this year they have 63, ranging from U9 to U14 boys and girls teams. Teams from as far as Loudoun County and North Carolina will be coming, and the tournament even had interest from squads in Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

“The word is really starting to spread,” Josh said.

The event has also grown to involve many high profile sponsors. On-site vendors range from soccer stores to companies like Cartoon Carl. There are also raffles and gift baskets including donations like tickets from D.C. United, reservations from Hampton Inn, and products from Eurosport and Sports Authority.

Tournament expenses come out of the entry fees, and concession money goes to the Smithfield Soccer Club, but the event is run completely by volunteers.

“Other than the food, any dollar spent goes to the American Cancer Society,” Josh said. “We’re not collecting a dime.”

Even the on-site vendors donate a percentage of their revenue.

“The first year we made about $6,000,” Josh said. “Last year was about ($13,000), and this year right now we’re already at $15,000 and we haven’t even started the first game. My goal is $20,000. So, (the event is) definitely a lot bigger this year, and it’s going to be a good thing.”

How good? Simply ask a cancer survivor, like Josh Caterbone’s aunt.