The National Wrestling Hall of Fame on Tuesday announced the state winners of the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award (DSHSEA).
The DSHSEA was established in 1996 to honor Olympic and World champion Dave Schultz, whose career was cut short when he was murdered in January 1996. He was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Member in 1997 and as a member of the United World Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2016.
The award recognizes and celebrates the nation’s most outstanding high school senior male wrestlers for their excellence in wrestling, scholastic achievement, citizenship, and community service. Congratulation to Georgia State Winner Caden McCrary of Woodland High School-Bartow, who will attend the University of North Carolina.
Winners are evaluated and selected on the basis of three criteria: success and standout performances and sportsmanship in wrestling; review of GPA and class rank, academic honors and distinctions; and participation in activities that demonstrate commitment to character and community.
“This year has been so hard for so many seniors whose seasons and state championships were either shortened, postponed or canceled as a result of the pandemic,” said Hall of Fame Executive Director Lee Roy Smith. “Despite the many challenges they encountered, these student-athletes demonstrated tremendous resolve while working to achieve their academic and athletic goals.
“In recognition of their fortitude, the National Wrestling Hall of Fame is excited to recognize these young men with our Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award, and we wish them continued success, on and off the mat.”
DSHSEA regional winners will be announced on July 27 and the national winner will be announced on August 10. Regional winners are selected from state winners, and the national winner will be chosen from the regional winners.
The state winners of the Tricia Saunders High School Excellence Award (TSHSEA) will be announced on Wednesday. The TSHSEA recognizes and celebrates the nation’s most outstanding high school senior female wrestlers for their excellence in wrestling, scholastic achievement, citizenship, and community service. The TSHSEA regional winners will be announced on July 28 and the national winner will be announced on August 11.
The Hall of Fame accepts nominations for its high school excellence awards from state chapters and coaches. The nominations are reviewed by a committee, which selects state and regional winners. The committee then determines the national winners from the regional winners.
National winners of the DSHSEA award have combined to win 20 NCAA Division I individual titles led by four-time champion Logan Stieber (2010), three-time winner Zain Retherford (2013) and two-time winners Steven Mocco (2001), David Taylor (2009) and Teyon Ware (2002). The 2018 winner David Carr won a title in 2021 while 2016 winner Mark Hall II won an NCAA title as a freshman in 2017 and 2015 winner Zahid Valencia won back-to-back championships in 2018 and 2019.