By Tim Chambers
Johnson County is blessed to have several good volunteer coaches at the high school level and one is doing a “heck” of a job working in the football program. Billy Heck has been at the helm for nearly a decade and is back with his “Billy the Kid” like energy in 2017.
Heck started as a trainer prior to becoming an assistant coach working in the weight room for nearly another decade. He’s another one that wears many hats that goes unnoticed. On the hill is where his heart is.
“I love Johnson County High School because I played here,” said Heck. It’s a great opportunity for me to give back something to our football program. You never forget your teammates or coaches that you bond with out on the field. I’m hoping to make a difference in some of these young men’s lives that will last forever. I want to be there for them should they ever need anything down the road.”
Heck proved that he was a team player this year by offering his expertise to head Coach Don Kerley.
“I told him to put me wherever there was a need. I help out mostly on defense working with the defensive ends.”
Heck comes to the program with a good resume. He played with Kerley and his brother Tom on the 1988 team that reached the second round of the state playoffs.
“We still talk about it today because it was special winning a home game,” said Heck. “But it would mean more to me watching them do it as a coach than it did for me when I played. We have a good group of kids on this team and I’m just happy to be a part of it. I want them to experience the joy that we did and see how it brings closeness to the community. These kids have earned that.”
Heck complimented the coaching staff for the close bond that each of them have with one another.
“This is Don’s fourth year so all of us have a good feel for one another. Things are a lot smoother now and we’re all comfortable with what we do.”
Heck works at Parkdale during the day but always finds time to go the extra mile. He specializes in field maintenance and anything else that is needed.
“I love painting the field and making sure it’s ready for games. We’ve got one of the nicest fields around. I want the people in our community to love it and all our kids up here to love it. I don’t care if people know that I’m up here working on it or not. I love doing it for the kids. My wife (Cindy) has even helped me get it ready before. I take a lot of pride in it.”
Heck gave credit to a pair of his former coaches, Tiny Wilson and Jim Crowder for teaching him a lot about defense. He also gave a shout out to his dad, Bob Heck, for supplying him a ton of knowledge and being a huge supporter.
“Those men gave me something that nobody can ever take away,” added Heck. “They taught me how to be a winner. That’s what we want to teach these kids at Johnson County.”