Mar 14, 2017
The brother-sister combination of Dylan and Devyn Gilfoy is tough to top.
One sibling was a 6-foot-5 quarterback-sacking machine at Diablo Valley College; the other a 5-foot-11 natural-born soccer scorer at Liberty High. Both will play Division I athletics next fall -- Dylan with Montana football and Devyn with Pepperdine women’s soccer.
Now that’s a D-1 double fit for any family tree.
Those who have watched Devyn amass 62 goals and 34 assists over four years at Liberty, all the while carrying a 4.15 overall GPA and being active in Liberty Leadership, will attest to her remarkable production and Lion pride.
But it was Dylan who set the standard for Devyn.
“Growing up I was always more on the tomboy side,” Devyn says. “I kind of took a liking to everything he was doing when we were younger, whether it be T-Ball, basketball, soccer, and so really how I got into it was following in my brother’s footsteps.”
Dylan and Devyn are among four active siblings, also including Delaney, the oldest sister, and Darcy, the youngest. Parents Wendy and Shaun Gilfoy have been highly supportive and active in their kids’ lives. Heck, Wendy was the unofficial photographer for DVC football.
“We’re so blessed as kids to have the parents that we do, how involved that they are,” Devyn said. “My mom’s super-involved with Dylan in football and my dad’s super-involved with me in soccer, and vice versa too.”
“I would definitely say we’re a very close family,” Dylan said by phone from Montana, where he already enrolled as a midyear transfer and is adjusting to varying weather of the Northern Rockies.
“We’re very competitive and we like to horse around a lot,” he continued. “We just have a good family bond and we always push each other to do our best in everything we do. It’s a reflection of how I ended up at Montana and how Devyn is going to Pepperdine.”
Dylan, who played football and volleyball at Liberty, accumulated 13 sacks last season (ranking at or near the top in the state from Week 1). He also had and 15.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, and three pass deflections, and was first-team all-Big 8 Conference at defensive end.
Devyn led Liberty with 19 goals and 17 assists last season, including scoring twice and assisting a goal in a thrilling 3-2 win over Carondelet in the CIF North Coast Section Division I final. She notched a hat trick and had an assist in a 6-1 win over Monte Vista in the semifinals. She was part of a sensational soccer surge at Liberty, in which the Lions won the school’s first-ever NCS soccer title in 2015.
The talented Liberty team also boasted UCLA-bound Delanie Sheehan and UNLV-bound Lauren Sisneros.
After backing up Chris Mulumba, now at Colorado, in 2015, Dylan burst onto the scene. He had 7.5 sacks in just the Vikings’ first three games. As a skinny, 190-pound Liberty senior in 2014, Dylan received just one Division 2 offer from Western Oregon, and was told he needed to pack on weight to go D-1.
DVC coach Mike Darr convinced Dylan that his program would tip the scales in his favor. He was right.
Darr is thrilled that Dylan, now 252 pounds, took a big jump after doing things the right way, protein shakes and all.
“He was a lean kid, and playing a spring sport (at Liberty) he didn’t have the chance to develop himself physically like you need to to be a Division I football player,” said Darr, who has sent about 217 players to four-year programs over the past 10 years. “We told him, ‘Hey, after your freshman year you’re going to have to put the work in. Eating is going to become a job, not just the weights, not just school, not just learning the game, but something as simple as eating. Knowing what to eat and when to eat it became part of his job.”
With 60 pounds of extra beef, Dylan started devouring opposing offensive tackles with an impressive combination of agility, leverage and drive. Plus, opponents had to pick their poison against DVC with Finland force Ville Valasti, now at Eastern Michigan, at the other defensive end spot.
But the Gilfoy’s DVC connection didn’t stop at defensive end. Wendy Gilfoy was popular among the football players because she took the game photos, which helped Darr with recruiting and created a family feel on the squad. Community college sports typically lack the kind of parental involvement that exists in high school, but the Gilfoys were a refreshing exception.
Darr, who wears many hats in the program, enjoys being around the Gilfoy family.
“From the first day that I started recruiting him I could see the connection with the family,” Darr says of Dylan. “It was funny. We were at a game out at Liberty, and Dylan’s a tall kid, a tall blond kid, and I saw a tall blonde lady wearing his jersey: ‘That must be mom, I’ve got to go talk to her.’ … It was a pleasure to have not just Dylan but the entire family.”
On the soccer field, Devyn is excited about heading to Pepperdine and picked the Waves for athletic and spiritual reasons.
“I believe that God is the only reason that I’m where I am today, so I wanted to make sure I went to place where I could serve Him as well as well as play soccer,” she says. “On top of that it was honestly the coaching staff. The coaching staff there is second-to-none, not just as coaches but as people in general. They love to talk about how they build women of character on this team, not just on the field but off the field.”
Devyn added that Pepperdine’s philosophy fits with Liberty’s motto under coach Tony Martins: “It’s a little about soccer and a lot about life.”
Pepperdine coach Tim Ward sounds like he can’t wait for Devyn, who excels in the West Coast Soccer Club, to be in Malibu and making Waves on the attack.
“Devyn has proven to be not only a wonderful striker, but an integral part of her West Coast Wild’s State and National Championship team,” Ward said on the college website. “She is a very funny, caring, honest and outgoing young lady who is loved by her teammates. She is also a very successful student and is a four-year member of the Honor Roll. We feel that Devyn is a perfect fit for our character-based program.”
So, it looks like the Gilfoys will be logging a few more miles to support Devyn and Dylan. But it’s a safe bet they’ll happily make the trips. That’s just how the family rolls.