Caesar Rodney may have edged the Indian River High School girls’ soccer team for the conference championship, but that didn’t stop IR head coach Steve Kilby from collecting 2016 Henlopen Conference Coach of the Year honors.
Kilby was awarded the honor in a ceremony after the game, shortly after his squad was recognized for winning their fourth straight Henlopen South title.
“It’s always humbling when your peers will vote you into that slot,” said Kilby, who is no stranger to the award and also collected the honor for the Indians’ boys’ soccer team this season after leading them to a state championship.
He went on to express his hope that some of the up-and-coming programs in the conference — specifically those at Smyrna, Woodbridge and Lake Forest — get some recognition in the future after turning teams around in recent years.
“Those are programs that, two or three years ago, really struggled,” he said. “So, somebody there has to be doing something right.”
However, for Kilby’s players, including sophomore goalkeeper Fabrea McCray, the award went to exactly the right person.
“Coach definitely deserved that award,” said McCray. “He pushes us, he makes us work. When we think things are gonna be easy, he always tells us nothing’s gonna be given to us, we gotta go get it.
“He’s a great guy, he loves what he does and, more importantly, he loves us. He shows it every day with his dedication.”
While the award will go on the shelf, with all the others, Kilby is still saving a spot for one that he covets more than anything else — the first ever DIAA state championship trophy for IR girls’ soccer.
“There’s only one thing I really want out of this season,” he said. “It’s for those girls to be successful.”