“I guess having suffered through the years of no sports for women when I was in high school, I can relate to this. All I ever wanted was the chance — and I was blessed to have the chance when I was selected to coach.”
A multitude of support
Heil’s coaching career has been filled with a wealth of talented Peabody High players. She’s had five 1,000-point scorers: Kristen Foley (1982); sister Kim Foley (‘85); Jen Webster (‘93), and both DeAnn Larrabee and D’yana Delpero, who each surpassed the plateau in their senior season of 2003.
Heil’s family and friends have been on the journey with her — especially her husband, who will introduce her at the ceremony; her daughter Kristin and son Bobby. Heil’s father-in-law, Charlie Heil, would often make appearances at her practices. Even up until a few years ago, he’d shoot the ball around with the girls at the age of 93.
“It’s been great to have them all be involved and interested,” Heil said. “My in-laws would take the bus rides with us to away games when we were first establishing the program in the late ‘70s.
“My husband has been there since Day 1; it’s really been 50/50. We got engaged the first year I started coaching. My daughter would bring her coloring books while we scouted and practiced. My son was born during the 1988 season. I had him on a Tuesday, my husband coached the girls the next night and I was back for the game on Friday.”
Heil’s sister and brother will also be at the banquet Sunday along with her son-in-law and former player Jeannie Hallinan.
“I hope everyone involved shares in this honor,” added Heil. “It’s worth mentioning the wonderful friends I’ve made over the years through sports and my gratitude to all the people (parents, boosters, fans) who have supported the Peabody girls basketball teams for so many years.”