The National Wrestling Hall of Fame on Thursday announced that Braxton Amos of Mineral Wells, West Virginia, is the 2020 national winner of the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award (DSHSEA).
“Being named the 2020 Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award winner is an awesome ending to my high school wrestling career. My club coach, Miron Kharchilava, trained with Dave on several occasions. Hearing his stories about Dave and their training is inspiring,” said Amos, who is the first national winner from West Virginia. “One of the posters that still hangs in Miron’s room is Dave with a quote about the Japanese Samurai Musashi Miyamoto. I have walked by that poster thousands of times, it makes me appreciate the amount of time Dave put into chasing perfection and reminds me that people who didn’t see the discipline will never understand his sacrifice.
“It’s an honor to join the list of past DSHSE winners,” he added. “I’m proud to represent the University of Wisconsin, the State of West Virginia, and Parkersburg South High School.”
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 DSHSEA recognizes and celebrates the nation’s most outstanding high school senior male wrestlers for their excellence in wrestling, scholastic achievement, citizenship, and community service. The Hall of Fame also presents the Tricia Saunders High School Excellence Award, which recognizes and celebrates the nation’s most outstanding high school senior female wrestlers.
“We are excited to honor Braxton Amos as the national winner of the 2020 Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award,” said Executive Director Lee Roy Smith. “This award and honor represents the National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s pride in a young man who has demonstrated a commitment to balancing his pursuit of excellence in the fields of academics, athletics and community service.”
The son of Tim and Anika Amos, he 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 top-ranked wrestler in the country at 220 pounds and the top-ranked wrestler pound-for-pound, Amos has signed a letter of intent to wrestle for the University of Wisconsin.
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.
Ohio has had the most national winners with five followed by Pennsylvania with three and California, Minnesota and Oklahoma with two winners each. Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin have each had one winner.
Regional winners are selected from state winners, and the national winner is chosen from the regional winners. The state 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 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.
All-Time National Winners of Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award
2020 – Braxton Amos, Parkersburg South High School, Mineral Wells, West Virginia
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