D is for Determined, For Bill Deliberty’s Determination Powered His Stroke Recovery

Maggie Lawall, Reporter

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“Trojan pride never dies on three! One…two…three!”

The Hershey High School soccer team races onto the field. The whistle blows. Only two minutes into the game, and head coach Billy Delibrity is already pacing up and down the sideline as the Junior Varsity Team plays.

Coach D, as all of his players call him, has been coaching for 19 years as a Hershey soccer and basketball coach. He coaches soccer with Justin Repsch and Michael Warfel for the Middle School girls soccer team. He also coached with Coach Repsch and Coach Erb for their last season with the High School girls team this past season.

Delibrity has always coached the JV team. Coach D is more of a motivational figure for the girls, he enjoys talking to the girls and helps them improve their soccer skills without being super harsh. “I want to see the girls improve over the years I see them,” said Delibrity.

Coach D is not a teacher at the middle or high school, but he chooses to take time out of his day every day after the school day to coach the girls.

A typical practice with Coach D includes lots of shooting and passing drills. Delibrity said, “Most of the girls that play on the second team (Junior Varsity) lack the basic fundamental soccer skills they need to build.”

As a coach, Delibrity tries to keep his cool as much as he can. He stays positive towards the girls to build trust, most of the athletes really enjoy having Coach D around during the season. “Some girls are ready to work, and really put in the effort, but some will slack and just be there to socialize. Either way, I’m coaching them,” said Coach D.

At the beginning of the 2018 soccer season last spring, Coach D had a stroke. It was very unexpected and caught the coach off guard. He said he had not visited a doctor in an extended amount of time but was forced to go after the stroke.

Coach D’s stroke caused him to put a pause coaching the JV High School girl’s team and try to heal.

At the beginning of his healing process, he could only sit around and try not to move a lot. Coach D said, “Sitting around all day was the worst part, I’m so used to be walking around everywhere and talking to others. This change was very difficult for me.”

Coach D was unable to do the physical work his job required on a daily basis. He was also unable to eat the same amount of food he usually ate or the types of food he usually ate. Delibirity said he was accustomed to a huge dinner, with lots of meat and carbs. After his accident, he said his doctor told him to eat more fruits and vegetables. The main goal was to get Coach D healthy, so he could get back to coaching.

“I was eating basically nothing, and going on 5 mile walks everyday when they let me after awhile. I felt like I was doing nothing for work, I was used to eating around 5 meals a day, and then some,” said Coach D.

Eventually Coach D became impatient and really wanted to get back to coaching both soccer teams. He returned to practices at the beginning of the Middle School Girls soccer season, but was limited in what he could do during practice. Because of this, many High School girls who played on the High School soccer helped coach the JV team.

In the middle of the Middle School soccer season, Deliberty was finally cleared to return to his work full-time. “I was the most excited about getting back to soccer and working,” Deliberty said, “I got to eat whatever I wanted like I’m used to.”