The impressive Leidy Klotz resume has a new addition, that of an author.
A former Homer Central soccer player who helped carry the Trojans to an appearance in the state championship game during his senior season in the fall of 1997, Klotz has published a new educational book using his life experiences.
“Sustainability Through Soccer: An Unexpected Approach to Saving Our World” is the Klotz offering, published by the University of California Press out of Oakland.
Soccer has been an integral part of the Klotz career, going from record-setting success at Homer to becoming a captain at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. He then played two years as a professional, in both indoors and outdoor soccer leagues, before concentrating his efforts to the world of academia.
For the past eight years, Dr. Klotz has been an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at Clemson University in South Carolina — though his wife Monica Patterson and their two-year-old son Ezra will be relocating to Charlottesville in two weeks where a new job at the University of Virginia awaits.
“People say write what you know,” says the 38-year-old Klotz of this endeavor that took over two years to complete. “Plus, it was fun. I had fun, as much as you do writing. I had fun with the material.”
To best explain the material, this line was stolen off the back cover of the book. “In a series of rapid-fire stories, Sustainability through Soccer takes readers on a journey through a progression of systems-thinking and sustainability concepts.”
Klotz offers his explanation, too.
“In soccer, the whole thing is flowing and everything is dependent upon what happens before. If the ball just took a different bounce 10 minutes ago, the whole game could be different,” he says. “That’s the fundamental concept of sustainability. In terms of the book, there was the opportunity to merge those two.”
The book even offers an explanation as to why Homer fell short against Maine-Endwell in that state championship showdown 19 years ago.
Klotz became interested in writing while a student at Homer, and teacher Tammy Stokoe receives a ‘shout-out’ from the author in the Acknowledgments section that kicks off the pages.
Two summers ago the first draft was done — “This was a really ugly first draft,” Klotz noted — and then time was spent locating a publisher. A lot of research and work and rewriting was done while rocking infant Ezra at home.
“Revision, revision, revision… and I had a lot of my students help me because the target audience is people their age,” says Klotz of the process, with fellow professors also offering constructive criticism. “I always had the interest in writing and trying to make people laugh and keep them interested. A lot of it is self-taught. I read a ton, too, and that helps. The more I read the more I understood the process.”
The son Larry and Laurie Klotz, he has always understood soccer. This is a soccer family, sister Carrie finishing her collegiate career at Syracuse and brother Rick a former Hobart College booter. His father played a large role in getting youth soccer up and running in this area, too.
Now writing could play more of a major role in his career, Klotz hoping more books will follow. He also admits with a chuckle there were no expectations of this being a financial hit.
“The only real marketing I’ve done is through the social network, get it out and hopefully get some positive reviews from people who know you,” he says. “A lot of the stories are first-hand stories, so people who knew me well from Homer or college, they are going to have an added reason to read the book.”
The book can be purchased on-line at ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520287815