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Honorary coach Robert Gilmore plays role in Catawba’s conference win

Indians' inspiration

Catawba College football player Steven Barlett came over to Robert Gilmore at the start of the game and gave him a handshake and hug. A Salisbury High School senior battling cancer for the third time in his life, was an honorary coach for the Indians’ game against Lenoir-Rhyne on Saturday and provided inspiration for the team in its victory. Wayne Hinshaw/For the Salisbury Post

Catawba College football player Steven Barlett came over to Robert Gilmore at the start of the game and gave him a handshake and hug. A Salisbury High School senior battling cancer for the third time in his life, was an honorary coach for the Indians’ game against Lenoir-Rhyne on Saturday and provided inspiration for the team in its victory. Wayne Hinshaw/For the Salisbury Post

Catawba College

Robert Stephen Gilmore, the Catawba Indians’ Honorary Coach on Saturday, can take some of the credit for Catawba’s South Atlantic Conference victory, the Indians’ first since 2007.

Gilmore, a Salisbury High School senior battling cancer for the third time in his life, was on the sidelines for the game after spending the week with the team as it prepared for the contest against Lenoir-Rhyne.

Catawba Coach Curtis Walker said Gilmore’s presence with the team served as an inspiration.

“He was diagnosed with brain cancer when he was 3 years old, colon cancer when he was 15, and now he is 19 and still fighting a recurrence of the colon cancer,” Walker said.  “His courage and his drive to keep going are lessons to us all.”

In July of this year, the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education presented its first ever Courage Award to Gilmore. He was named prom king by his classmates at Salisbury High last spring and has served as a manager of his school’s football team, the Salisbury High Hornets.

Gilmore is the son of Wendy Baskins and Travis Hairston, but this past week, he was one of Catawba’s own.

To contribute to a fund to assist with Gilmore’s medical expenses, send donations to Wendy Gilmore-Baskins 9879, State Employees Credit Union, P.O. Box 1085, Salisbury, NC 28145.

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