Boris follows dad’s footsteps as CR softball coach

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New Caesar Rodney softball head coach Skye Boris, a 2009 CR graduate, talks to her team before Thursday’s practice. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

CAMDEN — When she was actually a player on this field, Skye Boris simply thought about playing.

Coaching softball was something her dad did.

“Then once I got close to graduation (from college), I was like, ‘Hmm, what’s the next step here?’” said Boris. “Then I thought about coaching — giving back to the sport that I had so much passion for and instilling it in young athletes.”

The next thing she knew, Boris was right back on the diamond at her alma mater, Caesar Rodney High, and following in her father’s footsteps.

The 24-year-old Boris is beginning her first season as the Riders’ head coach after working as an assistant in the program for the last two years.

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New Caesar Rodney softball head coach Skye Boris, a former Riders catcher and 2009 graduate, high-fives her current senior catcher Mirabella Klebart before Thursday’s practice. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

It’s the same job that her dad, Mike Shehorn, held for eight seasons. He’s now the head coach at Wilmington University.

“It’s great,” Boris said with a laugh. “But I feel really old.”

Actually, Boris is young enough that at least one of the current Riders can remember watching her play.

Senior Rosa’lynn Burton watched Boris when she was playing for Delaware State. Boris finished her college career at Wilmington in 2013.

“I was there all the time,” said Burton. “She is amazing.

“That’s why I’m happy she got the job. She’s played here, she’s played ‘D-1’ softball. She’s been places that girls like us hope to go one day.”

“I was really excited because I was kind of used to her coaching style

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New Caesar Rodney softball head coach Skye Boris smiles during Thursday’s practice. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

from last year when she was an assistant,” agreed junior pitcher Alyssa Ball. “I knew that we could talk to her and she would help us work on it so we could get better.”

The Riders, who open the season on March 22 at Milford, would be pretty happy if they could pick up where they left off last May.

CR won its last six regular-season games and then topped Woodbridge in the first round of the DIAA state tournament. The Riders finished 14-6 after Caravel rallied for a 6-5 victory in the tourney’s second round.

It was the first time CR made it past the tournament’s first round since 2011, when Shehorn was coaching.

Burton, who moves from third base to shortstop this year, and Ball were both first-team all-Henlopen Conference selections last spring.

Other returning starters include senior Mirabella Klebart and sophomore Stephanie Horne. CR did graduate five seniors.

“We lost a lot of important players,” said Burton. “But I think we gained a few. I think we’re going to be OK. Last year we were kind of young.

“I told myself, if we got there (to the tournament’s second round), as a senior, I’m going to get to the same place or farther this year.”

In that season-ending loss to Caravel, CR led 4-1 before the Buccaneers rallied for four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Riders then tied it in the seventh before Caravel won with a run in the bottom of the eighth.

A 2009 CR grad, Boris was a first-team All-State catcher as a senior. Her current assistant coach, Polytech High grad Emily Jump, was an honorable
mention All-State pitcher the same year.

Boris knows she still has a lot to learn about coaching. She’s in her third year as a special education teacher at the district’s Charlton School.

“Every day’s a learning experience as a young coach,” she said. “But I feel like, even as an older coach, every year there’s something new you learn about this sport. It’s an involving sport.”

And Boris knows she’s going to lean on her dad a lot as she learns the ropes.

“He’s a proud dad right now,” said Boris. “We talk daily — for very long. He gives me advice every day.

“It’s definitely a sport that has molded me into the person that I am,” she said about softball. “I really want to teach these girls all the things that were instilled in me.”

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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