Trevor Gillen is pure Gillen through and through. Two hundred and fifty-nine pounds of pure Gillen.
The Durango High School heavyweight wrestler, following a time-honored family tradition in Durango athletics, will take an undefeated record (44-0) and his extended family to the CHSAA Class 4A Wrestling State Championships today at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Wherever Gillen, a fourth-generation Durango Gillen, hits the wrestling mats, it seems like there are at least six generations of Gillens there to cheer him on.
With a guy like Trevor, it all starts with his family, Durango head wrestling coach Doug Cuddie said.
Hes got a very supportive family. And its not just his mom and dad. Its his aunts and uncles, his grandparents, cousins, Cuddie said.
They all come out for him. And who can blame them? Hes fun to watch, Cuddie said.
Gillen, a senior who finished fifth in the 4A state championships last year, is the No. 1 seed for the 2012 heavyweight bracket. He will wrestle Dakota Gulley of Golden (34-3) in todays opening round.
Its ... cool to be a part of it (the Gillen family legacy), said Gillen, son of Joe and Rebecca Gillen of Durango. Its nice to go back and see what my dad and my uncles have done ... even all the way back, he said of the long sporting family history. We like to give support to each other. Its fun to go watch each other (compete).
For Gillen, its the same kind of support the family has shown for generations in virtually every sport football, wrestling, even middle school girls basketball.
Everybody supports everybody, said Daniel Gillen, Trevors uncle. Thats the way it is with the Gillens.
Trevor Gillen is following directly in his fathers footsteps. Joe Gillen was a heavyweight wrestler who qualified for the state tournament and was a top defensive lineman when he played high school football.
Both of Trevor Gillens parents attended Durango High School, as did most of his family tree.
Gillens grandmother, Christine, was the 1952 homecoming queen at Durango High School. She had three brothers who played football for DHS.
Her father, F.B. Slade, was a standout football player on the 1929 Durango High School team.
Gillens great-grandfather played on the defensive line, just like Trevor.
The Gillen family, avid wrestling fans, also padded the attendance figures at DHS football games, where they watched Trevor, an all-conference defensive lineman for coach Greg Wyatts Demons.
A couple of years earlier, the Gillens turned out to watch Jordan Gillen, Trevors cousin, play quarterback for the Durango Demons.
Jordan Gillen went on to play football at Fort Lewis College. Hes currently on a two-year Mormon mission but plans to return to the Skyhawks football team when his mission is completed.
Trevor Gillens success on the wrestling mats is no accident, said his high school coach. Gillen is 92-4 over two seasons.
Trevor works really hard in practice. And hes done extra work on his own this year running in the mornings, extra lifting (weights), Cuddie said.
Technically, Cuddie said, Gillen is better than ever.
This year, hes a more complete wrestler. And hes not just a more complete heavyweight but a more complete wrestler all around, Cuddie said. His setups (for takedowns) are a lot better. And he competes every time out.
The DHS coach said Gillen is a valuable example for the younger wrestlers.
Hes our best wrestler from the bottom. Plus, hes aggressive on his feet, Cuddie said.
The Demons practice situation was complicated because there is no one close to Gillens size, Cuddie said.
We dont have a great partner for Trevor to work against in practice, Cuddie said. Hes basically run through all of us coaches.
The Durango coach said he has been contacted by a number of college coaches who are interested in Gillen, even though the Durango heavyweight gives up about 15 pounds to most of the competition (at 275 pounds).
Were looking at all his options, maybe a junior college to start, Cuddie said. But his (college) future could be decided by what happens this week (at the state tournament).
Gillen has drawn the attention of a number of NCAA Division II colleges, including the wrestling schools of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
For all his success and his lofty status as an undefeated No. 1 seed at the state tournament, Gillen is a lighthearted breath of fresh air for teammates.
Hes one of those guys whos always bustin jokes, said DHS senior Dakota Sutherlin, a teammate of Gillens on the gridiron and on the mats.
Hes a clown. ... Hes a real goofball, said Sutherlin, who qualified for the state wrestling tournament by finishing second last weekend at the Class 4A regionals at Eagle Valley High School. Hes always ... spouting funny lines from TV shows and stuff. You cant be around Trevor more than three seconds without laughing.
The only time I think Ive seen him serious is when hes on the mat or on the football field, said Sutherlin, son of Brady and Raquel Sutherlin. He doesnt mess around on the mat.
Sutherlin said Gillen is technically sound, and he doesnt make mistakes.
Itll be exciting to see how hell do (at state), said Sutherlin (28-14), who will wrestle Lucas Chieppo of Thompson Valley (13-8) in Thursdays opening-round state match at 160 pounds.
Trevors been talking about the ring. He wants that ring (title) really bad, Sutherlin said.
And thats no joke.