Overcoming losses

Dick, Gilmore compete at state with late parents in mind


Big brother came home.
Hunter Glimore promised his little brother, Arlington High School senior Kolton Gilmore, he'd come home from college to watch him compete at the NSAA State Wrestling Championships in Omaha.
Sure enough, the Chadron State Eagle was there inside the CHI Health Center tunnel after Kolton's last match Friday, wrapping his arms around his brother and not letting go for a good minute.
The brothers, and their younger sibling, Remington, suffered a great loss last summer when their mother, Merrit, died June 12 at just 45 years old.
A few months later, in August, Blair senior Atticus Dick lost someone special, too. His dad, TJ Dick, passed at just 46, leaving he and his two siblings — Ayden and Axel — without their father.
Both Gilmore and Dick are middle children.
The sons of Merrit and Tommy, and Leah and TJ.
Both are standout wrestlers.
“I talk to her before every match,” Gilmore said Friday after a 2-2 state trip, the first and only of his career.
When asked days before the tournament who deserved credit for his successes at 165 pounds, the AHS Eagle said his mom did.
“Wish I could have done a little more, but I know she's proud of me. Always has been,” Gilmore said. “I'm just going to continue to make her proud every day.”
At districts in Aurora, Dick's little brother Axel watched from matside — wide-eyed with a bright, cheerful smile — as the Bears' 150-pounder qualified for his first state tournament during his last district tourney to do so.
“Thinking about my little brother — that's been, probably, my biggest motivation,” Dick said.
The senior capped his first and only state trip with a Class B bronze medal Saturday. He believes his breakout season has meant a lot to his family during a tough time.
“I think it's brought everyone closer together. Obviously, there's been a lot of hard things,” the Bear said. “But, like I said, I can't thank God enough. Everything, it's all from Him.”
Both Dick and Gilmore lost matches during their final high school wrestling seasons, but they both battled back and went after their goals, achieving many of them in Omaha. When asked what he proved to himself this season on and off the mat, the Arlington senior had an answer.
“That I can overcome the big obstacles to just continue going on,” Gilmore said. “Nothing can stop me, really.”
When asked what his dad would have thought of all of his son's state success, Dick couldn't help but laugh.
“He's probably pissed because he missed it,” the BHS standout said, cracking a big smile minutes after his last pin as a Bear. “But, no, I can't thank him enough. He's the only reason I'm here. He's the one that pushed me my whole life.”
TJ and Merrit supported their sons' efforts on the mat and that support remains felt.
“He constantly believed in me,” Dick said, noting how his father knew what was best for him all along. “He instilled that work ethic, that drive and that belief in myself. That faith.”

Full Washington County state wrestling coverage appeared in Tuesday's Washington County Pilot-Tribune as well as here at enterprisepub.com/sports.

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