STILLWATER, Okla. – The National Wrestling Hall of Fame on Monday announced the state and regional winners for the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award (DSHSEA) and the state winners for the Tricia Saunders High School Excellence Award (TSHSEA).
The awards recognize and celebrate the nation’s most outstanding high school seniors for their excellence in wrestling, scholastic achievement, citizenship and community service.
Mechanicsburg senior four-time state champion Kaleb Romero was the Ohio winner of the DSHSEA.
The national winners for both awards will be announced on Thursday. National winners will be presented with their awards during the 41st Annual Honors Weekend at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum on June 2-3 in Stillwater.
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.
First presented in 2014, the TSHSEA is named for Tricia Saunders, a four-time World Champion and women’s wrestling pioneer. Saunders was the first woman to be inducted as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2006 and was inducted into the UWW Hall of Fame in 2011.
“Each year we are pleased to honor these remarkable student-athletes, who are inspirational role models because of their excellence on the wrestling mat, in the classroom and in their communities,” said Executive Director Lee Roy Smith. “We take great pride in our high school excellence honorees and enjoy following their careers as they continue to be positive influences.”
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 the High School Excellence awards, and a committee, with input from Hall of Fame state chapters, selects state and regional winners. National winners are then chosen from the regional winners.
National winners of the DSHSEA award have combined to win 16 NCAA Division I individual titles led by four-time champion Logan Stieber (2010) and two-time winners Steven Mocco (2001), Zain Retherford (2013), David Taylor (2009) and Teyon Ware (2002). Retherford, who will look to win his third title in 2018, and Mark Hall (2016), who won as a freshman, both captured titles in 2017.