Tyler Gilmore - Jike Wong Award Winner - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado Island News

Tyler Gilmore - Jike Wong Award Winner

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Posted: Thursday, June 18, 2015 1:06 pm

Annually since 1949 Coronado High School has presented the Jike Wong Award to the Outstanding Boy in the school’s graduating class. The award honors Jike Wong (CHS ’48) who died in a car accident shortly after his graduation, and is considered one of the most prestigious awards presented by the school. The 2015 winner is Tyler Gilmore.

The award itself contains the following inscription, “Scholar, athlete, leader, friend. To the boy who best exemplifies these ideals.”

Born in La Mesa, Gilmore is the son of Ted and Michelle Gilmore of Coronado. The Gilmore family also includes younger brothers Travis, who will be a junior at CHS next year and Tucker who is entering the seventh grade. “I’ve lived in San Diego all my life,” Gilmore said during our interview the morning following graduation. “I grew up near San Diego State in Del Cerro for 15 years. At the end of my freshman year the family decided to move to Coronado.” 

Gilmore explained his athletic background, which started with his parents. “My Mom was a soccer player through high school and my Dad played baseball and football. He was an amazing athlete. I’ve been playing soccer since I was three years old, starting in the Micro Division, but it wasn’t my primary sport. I played baseball and basketball and they were my two favorites until middle school. I played soccer in the recreation division and my brother was selected to play club. Travis stuck to baseball and I fell in love with soccer. I played for the Crusaders for eight years and my club team now is Nado Select.”

As has been chronicled often in “Nado Natterings” which appears weekly in this publication, Gilmore had a stellar athletic career at CHS, competing in both soccer and golf. He also dabbled in JV water polo for two years. Gilmore helped lead his Islander soccer teammates to two CIF San Diego Section titles and this year the team won the Southern California Regional Division IV title. The Islanders dominated their three opponents by an aggregate score of 21-2. Individually Gilmore was named to the All-CIF First Team, meaning he was considered to be among the elite soccer players in the county.

Gilmore was also a member of the Division III Islander Golf Team which won CIF title in 2014. The talented Gilmore was consistently one of the two lowest scorers on the golf team. Gilmore said of his golf experience this year, which is normally considered to be an individual sport, “The unique thing was we were as much of a team as you could get. We would practice together and grab some French Fries after practice. I wasn’t playing for myself, but for my team. It was awesome.” His career best round of golf occurred during the San Diego City Match Play event last year when he carded a 68 on the Torrey Pines North course.

Lest you think Gilmore is just a talented athlete, careening through the hallowed halls of CHS relying on just his considerable charm, his weighted grade point average was a lofty 4.38. He discussed one particular activity at CHS. “Participating in high school choir was one of my favorite experiences. It was amazing. It was really helpful to be able to sing in the morning. It wakes you up and gets you ready for the day. My freshman year I was in the Bel Cantos advanced choir at Patrick Henry High School and we went to New York and sang in Carnegie Hall with the National Youth Choir.”

Locally Gilmore sang baritone a year ago in the Crown City Doo Wop Quartet along with Justin Meek, Mitchell Connelly and Wes Ahrens. Gilmore must have been good as he was the only junior in the group. Totally by coincidence I saw the quartet perform in person and they were really good and seemed to be enjoying themselves during their performance.

Perhaps not surprisingly, as Coronado High School has only 1,100 students, Gilmore knows Lauren McBride, his counterpart as the winner of the McGowan Award as Outstanding Girl, very well. “We go back to when I first moved here. She was in my sophomore history class with Mr. Heaphy. And it was a ‘say hi to each other’ kind of thing. Then junior year we became absolutely best friends. She and I plus a couple of other people on the weekends, instead of going out, we would watch movies together. My favorite is “The Breakfast Club,” so we became The Breakfast Club. That’s how we became friends and ever since we have been tight. Lauren doesn’t give herself enough credit. She has the best reputation, one of the best academic records, one of the best personalities and a sense of the right thing to do. And she doesn’t realize that.”

Students regardless of their lofty capabilities can’t go it alone in the classroom and Gilmore acknowledged three of his favorite teachers. “I had Sandra Davis for two years in Calculus and she reminded me to always do everything with enthusiasm. We would come in all drowsy on Monday and she said, ‘Mondays are 13 percent of your life. If you want to be miserable for 13 percent of your life, don’t be.’ She is awesome. Another significant teacher was Tam Hoang who I had for English and AP Language. What I loved about his class was that it was open to discussion. His was the closest class to a life class. It was language and we could talk about anything. And Davin Heaphy taught World History my sophomore year and he got me into a comfort zone at Coronado, due to how awesome he was and how happy he made everyone in his class.”

Gilmore predicted what his lasting memory from CHS would be 10 years from now. “It was said a lot during our graduation ceremony, that our class has a way of accepting others. We are the most inviting group of people and I’m very proud of that.”

As you might expect, Gilmore has plans to continue both his athletic and academic careers in the fall when he heads to Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. He is well aware that the former women’s college, which has been co-ed since 1969, has Meryl Streep its most famous alumna, followed closely by Lisa Kudrow of “Friends” fame. Unfortunately the Vassar Brewers (school founder Matthew Vassar made his money in the beer industry) don’t field a men’s golf team, so Gilmore is considering an unofficial coaching position with the women’s team. Conveniently the Men’s Soccer Coach Andy Jennings is also the head women’s golf coach.

Somewhere among all of those plans Gilmore will major in applied mathematics with an eye toward an eventual career conducting market research in the financial industry. “That’s what I like about applied math; it can take me there, but it doesn’t have to.”

Things are about to get serious from a soccer perspective. “I head to Vassar August 18 and practice starts the next day,” Gilmore noted. “I have to start an exercise program that is detailed in a 30-page document June 20. The first two pages are about how to live and how to play soccer. It covers the period from June 20 until the day I leave for Vassar. It includes a section on diet, and covers what, when and how much to eat. It includes running, lifting and walking. In soccer 15-20 percent of the game is walking, 15-20 percent is sprinting and the rest is running.” Gilmore didn’t seem the least bit concerned about the exercise program in his immediate future.

Gilmore closed our interview by thanking his parents. “They made a sacrifice moving here with me and my brothers. And I appreciate the way they raised me. How they did that yielded a good attitude and a good sense of how the world works. They gave me the right amount of protection along with the right amount of involvement in my life.”

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