National Wrestling Hall of Fame announces Colorado’s Cohlton Schultz as national winner of Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award

By National Wrestling Hall of Fame | May 07, 2019, 2:22 p.m. (ET)

Cohlton Schultz celebrates his 2018 Junior World bronze medal. Photo by Kadir Caliskan.

STILLWATER - The National Wrestling Hall of Fame has announced that Cohlton Schultz of Parker, Colorado, is the 2019 national winner of the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award (DSHSEA). 

Schultz, who becomes the first national winner from Colorado, will be presented with his award during the 43rd Annual Honors Weekend at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum on May 31 and June 1 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. For information on Honors Weekend, visit nwhof.ticketleap.com/ or telephone (405) 377-5243.

“I am honored and very thankful to receive this award,” said Schultz. “I have admired and looked up to Dave Schultz and many of the previous award winners my entire life, both on and off the mat. It is a blessing to be mentioned in the same sentence as Dave Schultz and the previous winners of this prestigious award.”

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.

Regional winners are selected from state winners, and the national winner is chosen from the regional winners. 

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.

“We are excited to honor Cohlton Schultz from Parker, Colorado, as the national winner of the 2019 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.”

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 and Wisconsin have each had one winner.

The son of Rick and Christy Schultz and Jessica Schultz, Schultz is a four-time Colorado High School state champion for Ponderosa High School, finishing with a high school record of 188-2 with 152 pins. Schultz has been a world team member six times and will compete in the Greco-Roman World Junior Championships in August. He won the Greco-Roman Cadet World Championship in 2017 and was a bronze medalist at the Greco-Roman Junior World Championships in 2018. Schultz was also on the U23 World Team in 2018, the Cadet World Team in 2016 and the Junior Worlds in 2017. He is a two-time Ironman Champion and a four-time finalist and a four-time Reno Tournament of Champions champion, earning Outstanding Wrestler honors in 2019. Schultz was a four-time Doc Buchanan Champion and was named Outstanding Wrestler in 2018 and 2019. 

He is a member of the Student Athletic Council and the Principal Interview Committee. He also volunteers as a motivational speaker and volunteers at Southeast Christian Church. Following his gold medal win in 2017, the mayor and Parker City Council declared October 17 as “Cohlton Schultz Day.” Schultz has a GPA of 3.25 and has signed a letter of intent to wrestle for Arizona State University.

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 has won back-to-back championships in 2018 and 2019.

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
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, 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

National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum
America’s shrine to the sport of wrestling, the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum was founded as a nonprofit organization in 1976 to honor the sport of wrestling, preserve its history, recognize extraordinary individual achievements, and inspire future generations. The National Wrestling Hall of Fame has museums in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and Waterloo, Iowa. The Stillwater, Oklahoma, location reopened in June 2016 following a $3.8 million renovation and now features interactive exhibits and electronic kiosks, as well as the opportunity to watch NCAA Championship matches from the 1930s to present day. It also has the John T. Vaughan Hall of Honors where the greatest names in wrestling are recognized, including iconic granite plaques presented to Distinguished Members since the Hall of Fame opened in 1976. The museum has the largest collection of wrestling artifacts and memorabilia in the world, including the most collegiate and Olympic wrestling uniforms. Wrestling truly is for everyone and the diversity and accessibility of the sport continues to be highlighted through exhibits featuring females, African-Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Latino Americans. There is also a library featuring historical documents, including NCAA guides and results, as well as books on the sport. For more information about the Hall of Fame, please visit www.NWHOF.org.