It’s been just short of a week since the West Central Heat claimed an Illinois 8-man Football Association state championship at April Zorn Memorial Stadium on the Monmouth College campus. The Heat beat the Amboy/LaMoille/Ohio co-op 44-36. The temperature at kickoff was barely 20 degrees and in the single digits in the wind chill factor. The freezing temps made no difference to the fans from both schools as the stands were packed and the overflow crowd surrounded the artificial turf. That scene was not lost on Heat head coach Jason Kirby
Kirby just finished his 25th season as a high school varsity football coach, nearing 150 career wins at nearly all classes of football from class 1A to class 7A. He’s made the playoffs 11 of those years and finished as the Class 3A runner-up with Bureau Valley in 2004. With that experience to draw from, Kirby had a pretty good idea that this year’s Heat group had a chance to be pretty special. As his style, he refused to focus on anything other than the next game on the schedule during the 13-win streak. Through it all, he has given credit to his team’s success to everyone from the players, coaches, parents, administration, team managers and even the ballboys, always using the word “we”, not “I”. After the final horn and the trophy was handed out, Kirby finally had a chance to reflect on what the win meant to him, personally……but still refusing to use word “I”.
For the entire interview with Kirby, click HERE