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Gibson To Carry On The No. 18 Legacy

Lindsey Branch, UMW Sports Information

DILLON, Mont. - Western Bulldog and Dillon Beaver football player M.J. Simkins, whose life was tragically cut short prior to the start of his senior year, wore the number 18 with pride. The number had tremendous significance because it showed his love for Dillon and



Beaverhead County, which is Montana county number 18. MJ wore the no. 18 for three seasons 2014 to 2016. His brother Nathan carried forward the tradition and values of the no. 18 throughout his epic Bulldog career (2017-2021). The number 18 has since became a legacy number for the Bulldog Football team.


The number was and will be given to a senior student-athlete who represents the spirit and values of M.J. and what Bulldog Football is all about. Now, for the 2024 season, it has been awarded to Dillon native and senior runningback Pete Gibson


"Wearing the number 18 to me means you embody MJ's quote of 'leave it better than you found it'. You are a guy that does right on and off the field. You are not only there for your teammates but the community." Gibson said.


Gibson, an upcoming senior on the 2024 football team, started his career at Montana Western in 2020 and has played for the Bulldogs as a runningback and on special teams. He was a 2020 graduate of Beaverhead County High School and a Dillon, Mont. native.



Throughout his time as a Bulldog, Gibson has rushed for a total of 515 yards, with 456 yards accumulated last season. He has scored three touchdowns with an average of 7.4 yard per rush and 57 yards per game last season. He will continue to be a tremendous field presence for the Bulldog offense throughout his senior season.


"Gibson embodies what it means to be a Bulldog. He has worked himself into a valued team member on and off the field. Pete has earned everything he has gotten in the program," Head Coach Ryan Nourse said. "His positive and make it happen attitude, his willingness to sacrifice his personal wants and needs to be the best for the team, his leadership on offense and in our special teams' units and his winning mindset has earned him the respect of his coaches, peers and community. Pete has definitely left the program better than he found it."


"The legacy of the number 18 is more than a number in our program. It is something the whole community gets behind and brings them together. What MJ stood for is why it is a legacy number and his legacy helps breed a great culture in our program and community. I do not want to let down what the number 18 means to the program, the community, and the previous players that wore it."



The Bulldogs will play ten games this season, with a balanced slate of five home and five away games. The defending Frontier Conference champions will kick off the historic season on the new Bulldog Sports and Activities Complex, the first year Montana Western will not be playing on Vigilante Field.


"I am most excited about seeing what we can do. We have a huge target on our backs with being defending conference champions. I know we can do it again and bring another playoff game to Dillon, we just have to earn every opportunity we get," Gibson added.


The Bulldogs will take the Vigilante Field for the last time with their spring game slated for Saturday, April 20 at 1:00 pm.


Click to check out Engine 18 or the No. 18 homepage.



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