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OHIO VALLEY UNSUNG HEROES: Union Local’s Kildow always on the go for sports

MORRISTOWN — A few years ago, Julie Kildow was approached about keeping the scorebook for Union Local’s junior varsity basketball team.

She accepted, but then learned the program was looking for someone to keep the varsity book.

She threw her hat in for that job, too.

“But, don’t you want to watch your daughters play?,” someone asked her.

“That’s the easiest way to watch them,” Kildow recalled responding. “You don’t get distracted at all. You have to watch the game.”

Kildow is much more than you’re typical sports mom. In addition to keeping the book for her daughters’ team, she also helps coach them in another sport and serves other athletic roles at UL.

In fact, Kildow has been a familiar athletic presence around the school for years, dating back to her days as a Jet in the early 1980s.

Kildow’s daughters — Casey, a junior, and Torre, a freshman — are enjoying a successful run as basketball and volleyball players for UL. Previously, Ty and Cal, sons of Julie and Todd Kildow, made names for themselves as successful football, basketball and baseball players.

Ty and Cal have since graduated, both now attending Waynesburg University, but with the two girls still in school Julie Kildow is as busy as ever.

“Busy … extremely busy,” Kildow described life as a “sports mom” during a conversation prior to Friday night’s boys’ basketball game between the Jets and Harrison Central at “The Hangar.”

“I like it. We’ve always had our kids around sports. As babies, we bought them tickets to games.”

Sports have always been a part of Kildow’s life, and she’s passed her love on to her children, who’ve been watching and playing, it seems, forever.

“As soon as we had kids, they started coming,” Kildow smiled. “We never missed a football game. Never missed a basketball game. If it was cold, we’d wrap them up and go.”

Kildow played basketball, softball and volleyball during her high school days and started coaching right after graduation in 1983.

“I’ve been doing it a long time, but not steady,” she noted.

Currently, Kildow is an assistant volleyball coach and keeps the aforementioned scorebooks. She also serves as girls’ basketball treasurer, which includes the job of keeping the concession stand stocked for games. But through the years, she’s coached in a variety of roles, both boys and girls.

“I just like being around sports, in general,” she said. “I’m a sports junkie, always have been. Playing sports to coaching girls that weren’t even my own kids.”

Previously, Kildow was a member of the middle school PTO for about six years and was president of the Football Moms for a time.

There have been challenges through the years. Notably, when Casey and Torre were playing at different schools.

“The year Torre was in seventh grade, I was coaching her volleyball team and her basketball team, so I was missing some of Casey’s games, not a lot.”

Another, and more important, matter came recently when Ty was facing a cancer battle. But Kildow said the folks at UL were great about accommodating her every need.

“He has another scan slated for February 14 and that one’s going to show he’s cancer free,” she said. “That’s what we’re praying for.”

Kildow said she’s loads of fun doing everything, and she’s looking for forward to what the rest of this year, and the next three have in store for the Jets.

“This year has been great for UL,” she said. “Girls sports have been very successful so far.”

If you know of someone in sports in the Ohio Valley whom I could feature as an Ohio Valley Unsung Hero, drop me a line at rthorp@timesleaderonline.com or via Twitter @RickThorp1

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