Eldon star athlete turns adversity into inspiration

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ELDON — For star wrestler Trenton Dillon, most things come easy.

"He's always been able to pick up new things. I'm not trying to brag on him, but he's a natural athlete, so he picks up on things really quick," Trenton's father Lonnie Dillon said.

Although he is only a sophomore, Dillon is considered one of the best wrestler's in the state at the class three level for his weight class. He went to state last year and also is a star on the track for Eldon.

Tim Otto, Dillon's 8th-grade track coach, said, "He's always been a good wrestler. He's always had a chance to go to state, and was a state qualifier, one of the first state qualifiers in school history."

For Dillon, two sports was not enough as he always dreamed of playing football as well in high school. However, a severely torn hamstring during a track meet in his 8th grade year prevented him from playing his freshman season of football.

"Before the hand off, I'm sitting there pacing back and forth, and it was just bugging me a little bit. I was like ok it's fine. Then I took off and right as soon as I got the baton, I was limping. I felt pops and stuff, and that's when I knew I was going to go down," Trenton Dillon said.

The hamstring injury lingered as the injury affected other areas on his leg. As a result, Dillon also suffered from hip bursitis, which is moderate to sever inflammation in his hip. Dillon said the injury didn't stop him from wrestling his freshman year, but it bothered him often.

"It was frustrating to not be able to do some of the things I knew I could do," Trenton said.

Dillon and his father said not being on the football field tormented him.

"It was very hard, because he would be in the stands upset, because the team wasn't doing well or somebody missed a tackle here. He'd be very verbal up in the stands. It got to the point where I wasn't going to let him come to games any more," Lonnie said.

Dillon elected not to play football his sophomore year either due to pain and worry about the injury jeopardizing his wrestling season as well. However, this season, Dillon made his way to the field on Friday nights.

"My heart was rattling. That was a little nerve wracking," Trenton said with a laugh.

Lonnie said, "Honestly, I had tears in my eyes, because I had waited two years to watch him do that. Then seeing him do the opening kick off for the first game back after a few years, just listening to his name being called on the intercom, I was crying. I was very proud."

Trenton Dillon quickly went from bystander to jack of all trades on the football team as he now starts on both sides of the ball and is the Mustangs' starting kicker and punter.

"You know I always thought I'd be a pretty good tackler. I love that feeling of being able to make a play on the field," Trenton said.

In addition to being Trenton's 8th-grade track coach, Otto also is an assistant coach for the Eldon football team.

"He's always been a kid with wrestling that is always making take downs. Stuff like that they've learned in wrestling has translated to the football. We're seen some of our best tacklers are wrestlers, and he's one of them," Otto said.

Trenton and his teammates have led Eldon to a 4-3 record to start the year as the team wont three-straight after starting 1-3 including a 38-12 win against Versailles on homecoming.

"We've talked as a coaching staff is he's really starting to understand the game to where he's able to line us up. We actually moved him a couple positions on offense, so that we could get him on the field," Otto said.

However, his injury problems aren't completely in the past, but instead they are in his future in a different sort of way. Trenton decided because of his experience he wants to go into physical therapy to help others suffering from similar types of injuries.

Trenton said laughing, "I was in there doing all that stuff, and seeing the facility of the place I was in I just thought it was really cool. I though man I'd like to do that some day."

Otto said, "I think he'll be great at it. He'll be great at whatever, because he's going to work hard at it. That's just who he is."

Although he is only a junior, Trenton Dillon seems to have his life pretty well planned out, and his injury problems won't hold his future back any more.