Hard work has led to success on the baseball field and in the classroom for T.C. Williams senior Matt Kilby. Recently, it led to recognition.
Kilby, who will play baseball at Navy next season, earned second-team honors as an outfielder on the VHSL AAA All-State team. Kilby had earned All-Northern Region honors for the second consecutive season after batting .476 with six home runs and 23 RBIs.
"It was a great feeling," he said. "It was definitely a surprise. It was one of my goals since making a high school baseball team. You want to be recognized."
On June 14, Kilby found out he was the T.C. Williams High School valedictorian — an honor Kilby also said he was surprised to receive.
"I knew I was first in the class going into this year [but] I didn’t take all AP classes," Kilby said while taking a break from writing his speech. "I didn’t really think I was going to get it. … I was in complete shock."
Kilby said he was pleased to be recognized in both arenas.
"I really take both seriously," he said. "Baseball has been my love for 12 years and I’ve always worked hard in the classroom. It feels really good to get some credit for everything I do, [including] extra hours hitting and studying."
Kilby was also named the Robert E. Meisky Male Athlete of the Year for T.C. Williams, received the Barbara Bartnek Sports Highest GPA Award for baseball and golf, the Presidential Education Academic Award and the Science Department Award. Earlier in the month he received his Eagle Scout rank.
"It’s just a perfect snapshot of how well-rounded a young man Matt is," T.C. head baseball coach Andrew Simpson said. "He set such a positive example for his younger teammates."
Kilby said a baseball player earning male athlete of the year honors at a school known for its basketball success speak volumes of how far the baseball program has come.
"I think it just proves what coach Simpson and I have been saying: that T.C. Williams is an up-and-coming program," Kilby said. "T.C. isn’t just a basketball school anymore."
The baseball program also had other athletes receive awards. Senior Alex Hampl, who will attend Northwestern, received the National Certificate of Merit and the Presidential Education Academic Award. Senior Jon Jones, headed to VCU, received a Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity Beta Nu Boule Mentor scholarship and senior Alex Goldfarb, headed to Michigan, received the Social Studies Department Award and the Presidential Education Academic Award.