The National Wrestling Hall of Fame on Thursday announced the regional 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.
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.
The national winner of the DSHSEA will be announced on May 28. The regional winners of the Tricia Saunders High School Excellence Award (TSHSEA) were announced on Tuesday. 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 national winner will be announced on May 26.
The regions and the states that they are comprised of are:
West (11) – Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming
Midwest (10) – Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin
Central (7) – Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas
Southeast (10) – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia
Northeast (11) – Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont
2020 Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award Regional Winners
Central Region: Rocky Elam of Kansas City, Missouri, is a two-time Missouri state champion and four-time state qualifier, finishing third in 2018, for Staley High School. The top-ranked wrestler in the country at 195 pounds, Elam has signed a letter of intent to wrestle at the University of Missouri. The son of Bryant and Cherise Elam, he won United World Wrestling’s Junior Austria Flatz Open in 2020 and captured USA Wrestling’s Preseason Nationals and Junior Folkstyle Nationals in 2019. Elam was USA Wrestling’s Cadet Freestyle Nationals champion in 2018 and Preseason Cadet Folkstyle Nationals champion in 2017. He also trains at the Olympic Training Center as a member of USA Wrestling’s Elite Accelerator Program. Elam was a member of the Missouri State High School Activities Association All-Academic team three times after placing in the Top Six in the state tournament and having over a 3.5 GPA. His older brother, Zach, wrestles heavyweight at Missouri and was the Missouri state winner of the DSHSEA in 2018.
Midwest Region: Patrick Kennedy of West Concord, Minnesota, is a four-time Minnesota state champion and six-time state qualifier, finishing sixth as a seventh grader and third as an eighth grader, for Kasson-Mantorville High School. The top-ranked wrestler in the country at 182 pounds, he has signed a letter of intent to wrestle for the University of Iowa. The son of Matt and Tammy Kennedy, he is a two-time Post Bulletin Wrestler of the Year winner and was named the Rochester Area Male Athlete of the Year in 2020. Kennedy won USA Wrestling’s Junior National Freestyle championships and the Who’s #1 tournament in 2019. He was a member of the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association All-Academic team in 2019 and 2020 and had a cumulative GPA of 3.64. Kennedy won his last 112 matches to finish with 223 career victories, trailing only Brady Berge’s 287 for the most victories in Kasson-Mantorville history. Berge was also a four-time state champion and was the Minnesota and Central Region winner of the DSHSEA award in 2017.
Northeast Region: Anthony Clark of East Hanover, New Jersey, is a three-time New Jersey state champion and four-time state finalist for Delbarton School, compiling a 140-10 career record. The son of Bobby and Deana Clark, he will continue his career at Princeton University. He was named NJ.com’s New Jersey Athletic Conference Wrestler of the Year and was instrumental in Delbarton School having its best season in school history. After missing the first month of the season with an injury, Clark returned to help the Green Wave take over the top spot in the NJ.com Top 20 after a resounding win over Bergen Catholic, ending the perennial powerhouse’s 96-match winning streak against New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association opponents. Delbarton also captured the Non-Public A championship, its second state championship and first since 2011. He had a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and was a member of the I.T. Club, the Stock Exchange Club and the E.P.O.C.H. club. Clark volunteers at the Oasis Center and for the Autism Awareness Organization while also assisting at Belleville Fire Department functions.
Southeast Region: Braxton Amos of Mineral Wells, West Virginia, is a three-time West Virginia state champion, who did not surrender a takedown, near fall or reversal during his career for Parkersburg South High School. The son of Tim and Anika Amos, he has signed a letter of intent to wrestle for the University of Wisconsin. He is the top-ranked wrestler in the country at 220 pounds and the top-ranked wrestler pound-for-pound. Amos, who did not wrestle because of injury as a freshman, set school records for wins in an undefeated season, recording 48 victories twice; most wins in three seasons with 142; highest winning percentage with 100 percent; and most consecutive wins with 142. He was named Outstanding Wrestler at the state tournament twice and is a two-time recipient of the Dutton Award, presented to West Virginia’s Outstanding Wrestler for all classes. He also received the Hercules Award, presented for the most pins in the least amount of time. He won the USA Wrestling Freestyle Junior Nationals in 2019 after capturing both the freestyle and Greco-Roman titles at the USA Wrestling Cadet Nationals in 2016 and 2017. Competing with sprained ligaments in his knee, Amos reached the finals in Greco-Roman in 2019 before defaulting because of his injury. He did not compete in Fargo in 2018. Amos also has three Super 32 titles, three Ironman crowns and three Powerade championships. He was named Outstanding Wrestler in Greco-Roman at Fargo while also earning Outstanding Wrestler at Super 32 and the Most Pins award at Powerade. Amos, who was first team All-State in football, was president of the United Way Student Board and student council vice president while also organizing an annual community clean-up day. He was Academic All-State all three years that he competed and a member of the National Honor Society with a 4.05 GPA.
West Region: Haiden Drury of Toppenish, Washington, is a four-time finalist and three-time Washington state champion. The son of Micah and Sabina Drury, he has signed a letter of intent to wrestle at Fresno State University. Drury had a career record of 168-8, breaking the year-old Toppenish High School record of 155 wins set by three-time state champion Andres Aguilera. Drury won the USA Wrestling Greco-Roman Junior Nationals in 2019 after capturing the USA Wrestling Greco-Roman Cadet Nationals title in 2018. He won the silver medal at the Junior Pan American Championships in 2019 and also won a bronze at the Austrian Open. Drury also qualified for state in cross country all four years. He is a member of the National Honor Society with a 3.77 GPA while also being a member of MEChA, a Mexican American student group.
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 19 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 2016 winner of the DSHSEA Mark Hall won an NCAA title as a freshman in 2017 while 2015 winner Zahid Valencia won back-to-back championships in 2018 and 2019.
2020 Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award State Winners
State – Name, High School, Hometown, College Attending
Alabama – Dylan Pearson, Auburn High School, Auburn
Alaska – Hayden Lieb, Bethel Regional High School, Bethel, University of Wyoming
Arizona – Jesse Ybarra, Sunnyside High School, Tucson, University of Iowa
Arkansas – Landon Valdez, Searcy High School, McRae
California – Jesse Vasquez, Excelsior Charter High School, Corona, Arizona State University
Colorado – Isaiah Salazar, Windsor High School, Greeley, University Of Minnesota
Connecticut – Ryan Jack, Danbury High School, Danbury, North Carolina State University
Delaware – Jackson Dean, Caesar Rodney High School, Hartly, University of Pennsylvania
Florida – Bretli Reyna, South Dade Senior High School, Homestead, University of Iowa
Georgia – Andrew Eller, Evans High School, Evans, Lander University
Hawaii – Kysen Terukina, Kamehameha Schools – Kapalama, Ewa Beach
Idaho – Sawyer Hobbs, South Fremont High School, Saint Anthony, Utah Valley University
Illinois – David Ferrante, Huntley High School, Huntley, Northwestern University
Indiana – Silas Allred, Shenandoah High School, Anderson, University of Nebraska
Iowa – Cael Happel, Lisbon High School, Lisbon, University of Northern Iowa
Kansas – Cade Lautt, Saint James Academy, Olathe, University of North Carolina
Kentucky – Thomas Deck, Madison Central High School, Richmond, United States Military Academy
Louisiana – Alexander Yokubaitis, St. Louis Catholic High School, Lake Charles, Oklahoma State University
Maine – Sam Martel, Noble High School, Lebanon
Maryland – Dominic Solis, McDonogh School, Odenton, University of Maryland
Massachusetts – Hunter Adrian, Melrose High School, Melrose, Brown University
Michigan – Austin Boone, Lowell Senior High School, Ada, Penn State University
Minnesota – Patrick Kennedy, Kasson-Mantorville High School, West Concord, University of Iowa
Missouri – Rocky Elam, Staley High School, Kansas City, University of Missouri
Montana – Leif Schroeder, Bozeman High School, Bozeman, University of Iowa
Nebraska – Maxx Mayfield, Lincoln East High School, Lincoln, Northwestern University
Nevada – Tommy McCormick, Churchill County High School, Fallon, University of Idaho (football)
New Hampshire – Beau Dillon, Salem High School, Derry, Edinboro University
New Jersey – Anthony Clark, Delbarton School, East Hanover, Princeton University
New Mexico – Andrew Trujillo, Robertson High School, Las Vegas, New Mexico Highlands University
New York – Greg Diakomihalis, Hilton High School, Rochester, Cornell University
North Carolina – Kobe Early, Cary High School, Cary, Appalachian State University
North Dakota – Garrett Jangula, Napoleon Public School, Napoleon
Ohio – Mick Burnett, Elyria High School, Elyria, University of Pittsburgh
Oklahoma – Konner Doucet, Comanche High School, Comanche, Oklahoma State University
Oregon – Santos Cantu III, Crescent Valley High School, Salem, Indiana University
Pennsylvania – Ed Scott, DuBois Area High School, DuBois, North Carolina State
Rhode Island – Mason Clarke, Coventry High School, Coventry, Columbia University
South Carolina – Walker Stephenson, Hillcrest High School, Simpsonville, United States Military Academy
South Dakota – Nash Hutmacher, Chamberlain High School, Oacoma, Nebraska (football)
Tennessee – Noah Horst, Baylor School, Gallatin, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Texas – Parker Decker, Keller High School, Keller, Duke University
Utah – Stockton O’Brien, Wasatch High School, Kamas, Utah Valley University
Vermont – Sam Wilkins, Mount Anthony Union High School, Bennington, Castleton University
Virginia – Samuel Fisher, Fauquier High School, Jeffersonton, Virginia Tech University
Washington – Haiden Drury, Toppenish High School, Toppenish, Fresno State University
West Virginia – Braxton Amos, Parkersburg South High School, Mineral Wells, University of Wisconsin
Wisconsin – Keegan O’Toole, Arrowhead High School, Hartland, University of Missouri
Wyoming – Jace Palmer, Kelly Walsh High School, Casper
All-Time National Winners of Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award
2019 – Cohlton Schultz, Ponderosa High School, Parker, Colorado (Greco-Roman Cadet World Champion)
2018 – David Carr, Perry High School, Massillon, Ohio (Junior World Champion)
2017 – Daton Fix, Charles Page High School, Sand Springs, Oklahoma (Junior World Champion)
2016 – Mark Hall II, Apple Valley High School, Apple Valley, Minnesota (NCAA Champion and 2X Junior World Champion)
2015 – Zahid Valencia, St. John Bosco High School, Bellflower, California (2X NCAA Champion and Junior World Silver Medalist)
2014 – Chance Marsteller, Kennard-Dale High School, Fawn Grove, Pennsylvania
2013 – Zain Retherford, Benton Area High School, Benton, Pennsylvania (3X NCAA Champion)
2012 – Taylor Massa, St. Johns High School, St. Johns, Michigan
2011 – Morgan McIntosh, Calvary Chapel High School, Santa Ana, California
2010 – Logan Stieber, Monroeville High School, Monroeville, Ohio (World Champion and 4X NCAA Champion)
2009 – David Taylor, Graham High School, St. Paris, Ohio (World Champion and 2X NCAA Champion)
2008 – Jason Chamberlain, Springville High School, Springville, Utah
2007 – Zachary Sanders, Wabasha-Kellogg High School, Wabasha, Minnesota
2006 – David Craig, Brandon High School, Brandon, Florida
2005 – Troy Nickerson, Chenango Forks High School, Chenango Forks, New York (NCAA Champion)
2004 – Coleman Scott, Waynesburg High School, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania (NCAA Champion and Olympic bronze medalist)
2003 – C.P. Schlatter, St. Paul Graham High School, Urbana, Ohio
2002 – Teyon Ware, Edmond North High School, Edmond, Oklahoma (2X NCAA Champion)
2001 – Steven Mocco, Blair Academy, Blairstown, New Jersey (2X NCAA Champion and Olympian)
2000 – Ben Connell, Lugoff-Elgin High School, Lugoff, South Carolina
1999 – Zach Roberson, Blue Valley North West High School, Overland Park, Kansas (NCAA Champion)
1998 – Garrett Lowney, Freedom High School, Appleton, Wisconsin (2X Olympian) and Justin Ruiz, Taylorsville High School, Salt Lake City, Utah (Olympian)
1997 – Jeff Knupp, Walsh Jesuit High School, Akron, Ohio
1996 – David Kjeldgaard, Lewis Central High School, Council Bluffs, Iowa