Athlete of the Month — Kenny Dildine

By Derrick Forsythe, Record Sports Editor
Posted 11/7/19

Two sports have played a significant role in Kenny Dildine’s life.The recent Warrenton graduate has always played pivotal positions that often go unnoticed. His low-key nature sort of keeps him …

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Athlete of the Month — Kenny Dildine

Two sports have played a significant role in Kenny Dildine’s life.The recent Warrenton graduate has always played pivotal positions that often go unnoticed. His low-key nature sort of keeps him under the radar, despite having been one of the school’s most accomplished athletes of the past four years.Dildine is currently putting the finishing touches on his baseball career as a member of the Post 122 Senior Legion team.He began playing both baseball and soccer at the age of four.A severe back injury sustained from a fall took Dildine away from sports for an entire year during sixth and seventh grade.He returned to full strength, becoming a contributor on the freshman and junior varsity levels during his first two years of high school.Dildine dressed for the varsity squad as a sophomore and began seeing field time as a junior.Dildine typically plays the outfield but has also pitched in the past.As a member of the school team, he has been one of the most accurate hitters the past two seasons. Dildine batted .326 as a senior, collecting 15 hits, four RBIs and scoring eight runs.During his junior season, he hit .333 in limited plate appearances with three hits, three RBIs and three runs.Dildine’s role on the soccer field has been in a prevent role, playing both goalie and defender. As a keeper, he went 3-3, making 48 saves and allowing 23 goals during his senior seasons.He also kicked for the football team during his senior season.Dildine plans to attend East Central College to complete his general education courses, before transferring to Southeast Missouri State to earn a degree in athletic training.Q: If you had to choose just one sport to play, which would you pick and why?“I’d say baseball, because it’s what I’ve been best at since I was a kid.”Q: How do you stay motivated to play the less active roles, like goalie and outfielder?“It’s not really a ‘me’ kind of thing. It’s more of a team thing ... If I’m goalie, and the ball isn’t coming my way, it’s better off that way. That means we are doing well.”Q: What makes you successful as an outfielder?“Practice, learning how to judge a ball and where it’s going in the wind. Being able to make good reads on the ball.”Q: What are the best and worst aspects of playing goalie?“The best and worst are probably the same thing. Going after a ball when it’s on the ground, one on one. You can either stop it, or you could get hurt. Also, you can pretty much do whatever you want while you’re in goal.”Q: What is your most memorable sports moment?“When we were playing at Diamond 2, and I hit the ball to Diamond 1. I was about 12 years old. It was 3-0 pitch down the middle and Dad said to hit it. I always remember that.”Q: What was it like being a part of the football team?“It was different, because I couldn’t go to every single football practice. It was a lot of me kicking on my own or with my family. A lot of coming up on the weekends and putting in the time.”Q: How does soccer compare to kicking for football?“Technique-wise it’s different than soccer, because you have to lean back more when you’re kicking a football.”Q: Do you plan on staying involved in either sport?“If I don’t play for college, I’ll probably come home and ask my dad or brother to play. I’ll probably come back and try help with camps and practices too.”Q: What areas of your game have improved the most in baseball?“My freshman year and sophomore year, my hitting was really good. Then I started struggling after my sophomore year, so I went to a swing coach, who helped me, and now it’s gotten a lot better.”Q: What is your strongest pitch as a pitcher?“My knuckle ball. I threw that against West, and a lot of them didn’t know what to do with it. When it’s on, my curve ball is pretty good too. I know I’m not an overly powerful thrower.”Q: If you could change one thing about the school, what would it be?“The food. Most of the time it’s really good, but they don’t really put enough on there for us. It’s like, ‘I’m I supposed to get full off of this.’”Q: Who has had the greatest influence on your life?“My dad. There’s been times I’ve wanted to stop playing sports, but he’s pushed me to keep playing and get better at them.”Favorite Food: “Pepperoni and mushroom pizza.”Favorite Restaurant: “Olive Garden.”Favorite TV Show: “Castle.”Favorite Movie: “Transformers movies.”Favorite Song: “The Worst of Them."Favorite Musician: “Linkin Park.”— Compiled By Derrick Forsythe, Record Sports Editor

Warrenton graduate Kenny Dildine was the Athlete of the Month for June.

Derrick Forsythe Photo.