October 11, 2022
From: Dwayne Page
A brief dedication ceremony was held Monday night at DeKalb County High School’s “Dylan Kleparek Coach K Soccer Field.” It comes almost a year after the Board of Education named the ground for legendary football coach Tiger and Lady Tiger.
Coach K, as he is affectionately known, helped start the high school soccer program 40 seasons ago (boys and girls seasons combined) and has been the only head coach of the boys’ and girls’ teams ever since ( spring and fall).
“I’m so lucky to have such a big community, group of fans, friends and family who are all so supportive of me. It’s kind of embarrassing. I’m not the type of person who likes to make a big deal of me, but it’s such an honor to have this field. It will last forever and it means a lot to leave a legacy,” said Coach K.
In addition to his years of training, Kleparek is also a seasoned teacher with 21 years in the classroom and all that time spent in DeKalb County.
“I was lucky enough to get a job right out of college here and my freshman year I coached football the first semester and then the manager asked me to start a football team. We didn’t have a women’s team the first fall. It seems like it went by really fast, but at the same time, we’ve come a long way from a pair of basketball shorts, baseball socks and a t-shirt. who started our uniforms to now we have our own field and training ground. It’s a great big program with great kids, parents and people supporting it,” Coach K continued.
Principal of Schools Patrick Cripps praised Coach K for his dedication and commitment to the DCHS soccer program and student-athletes.
“I’ve said many times that coaches can forge relationships with their players that a lot of people never see or understand because they spend so much time with them on the training ground, bus trips, etc. Coach K has established this kind of relationship. The proof is that many former players have come back today to share this moment with him. We are proud of him. Coach K has made this program a success and while he had help along the way with great parents and boosters, it was his dedication to the kids every day that made him special,” Director Cripps said.
Last November, former Board of Education member Kate Miller offered to name the new football pitch for Coach K, saying at the time the tribute was appropriate. The motion was passed by the board.
“Over four years ago, this council voted to build a football field at DCHS. Before that, these teams did not have their own land. They had to use the soccer field or the training ground. I’m happy to report that after many hours of hard work and many people involved, we have a soccer field and it looks great even though it’s not completely finished. Without a doubt, the field and the soccer program would not be what it is today without the hard work and dedication of Coach K. He was instrumental in getting the program started. He was the sole coach of the girls’ and boys’ teams in high school and was involved in the community in the recreational league program. If you know or have ever played for Coach K, you know how competitive he is. He always wants to win and hates to lose and he coaches his players that way. But above all, he trains his players to be good students, good people and respectful individuals. Tonight I would like to move a motion that we name the football field the Dylan Kleparek Coach K Football Field,” Kate Miller said last November.