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National Wrestling Hall of Fame announces State, Regional winners of Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award

By Jack Carnefix, National Wrestling Hall of Fame | May 18, 2022, 2:28 p.m. (ET)

STILLWATER, Okla. - The National Wrestling Hall of Fame on Wednesday announced the state and 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 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 announced the state and regional winners of the Tricia Saunders High School Excellence Award (TSHSEA) 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.

Regional winners for both awards are selected from state winners, and the national winners will be chosen from the regional winners.

The national winner of the DSHSEA will be announced on May 25 while the national winner of the TSHSEA will be announced on May 24. The national winners will be honored during the 45th Annual Honors Weekend at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum on June 3 and 4 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. For information on Honors Weekend, visit https://bit.ly/3KAFjWw or telephone (405) 377-5243.

“We are excited to recognize another worthy group of young men as recipients of our Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award,” said Hall of Fame Executive Director Lee Roy Smith. “This group of student-athletes represents the qualities necessary for success in sports, academics and life and we look forward to seeing what they accomplish.”

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), Teyon Ware (2002) and Zahid Valencia (2015).

2022 Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award Regional Winners

Central Region: Zach Blankenship of Mounds, Oklahoma, is a three-time Oklahoma state high school champion for Bixby High School. The son of Dennis and Povi Blankenship, he had a career prep record of 120-5 and did not compete in the state tournament as a sophomore because of injury. Blankenship was named Outstanding Wrestler at the 2021 state tournament and was a finalist for the Tulsa World Wrestler of the Year in 2021-22. He was a three-time Bobby Lyons Invitational champion and a Geary champion while also receiving the Hatley/Constantine Award, presented to the wrestler who best embodies the core values of the Bixby wrestling program. Blankenship was a football team captain and helped Bixby capture four Oklahoma state high school championships while receiving the Kevin Riddle Award, presented to the player who best embodies the core values of discipline, integrity, selflessness and consistency. He was senior class president and homecoming king while also being a member of leadership council and in the Top 10 percent of his class. Blankenship ranked first in his class with a GPA of 4.72 and was a member of two academic state championship teams and a four-time academic all-conference honoree. He has signed a letter of intent to wrestle for Oklahoma State University.

Midwest Region: Ryan Boersma of Tinley Park, Illinois, is a two-time Illinois state high school champion for Mt. Carmel High School. The son of Jason and Elizabeth Boersma, he was a champion in Greco-Roman and finished third in freestyle at Junior Nationals in 2021 and a UWW Cadet Double All-American in 2019. Boersma was a two-time Illinois freestyle and Greco-Roman champion and received the Tony Lawless Award as top wrestler in the Catholic League. A National Merit Scholarship recipient and National Honor Society member, he competed as a member of the Mt. Carmel math team and was a two-time regional champion and finished in the Top 20 in the state. Boersma was also all-conference and all-area in football and named Most Valuable Offensive Lineman. He volunteers as a youth coach for baseball and wrestling and for Muskies Inc., a Muskie rescue at Shabbona Lake. Boersma has a GPA of 4.23 and has signed a letter of intent to wrestle for the University of Missouri.

Northeast Region: Nicholas Feldman of Quarryville, Pennsylvania, is a three-time National Preps champion for Malvern Preparatory School. The son of Joshua and Connie Feldman, he placed fifth in the National Preps tournament as a freshman and had a career prep record of 136-17, including 38-0 as a senior and 18-0 as a junior. Feldman is a two-time FloWrestling Who’s Number One champion and a two-time champion and three-time place-winner at the Beast of the East tournament. He is a two-time champion, three-time finalist and four-time place-winner at the Powerade tournament and a two-time finalist at the Ironman tournament. Feldman is also a champion, two-time finalist and three-time place-winner at the Escape the Rock tournament. He volunteers as a coach and camp counselor for Beat The Streets Wrestling Lancaster and the Lancaster Alliance Wrestling Camp while also volunteering with Malvern Youth Wrestling. Feldman also served as orientation leader and tour guide for Malvern Preparatory School. An honors student all four years, he was the recipient of the Malvern Prep Athletic Director’s Merit Award in 2022. Feldman has a GPA of 4.1 and has signed a letter of intent to wrestle for Ohio State University.

Southeast Region: Cory Land of Moody, Alabama, is a four-time Alabama state high school champion for Moody High School. The son of Eric Land and Kaylea Williams, he was also an Alabama state champion as an eighth grader and finished his high school career with a perfect 203-0 career record. Land was named Outstanding Wrestler at the state tournament as a junior and holds the school record for single-season and career records for wins and pins. He is the first wrestler from Alabama to compete in the Cadet Greco-Roman World Championships, finishing fifth in 2019 and capturing a silver medal in 2021. He was a Moody High School Bryant-Jordan Achievement Award nominee and received the Ironclad Wrestling Organization Coaches Award. Land read to elementary school students on Read Across America Day and volunteered at the elementary school’s Thanksgiving Feast and at October Fest. A Beta Club officer and member of the Moody High School Student Leadership Team, he was co-editor of the Moody High School yearbook and served as an ambassador at the Moody Middle School groundbreaking. Land has a GPA of 3.86 and has signed a letter of intent to wrestle at the University of Northern Iowa.

West Region: James Rowley of Corvallis, Oregon is a four-time Oregon state high school champion for Crescent Valley High School. The son of Martin and Lana Rowley, he was named Outstanding Wrestler at the 2022 state tournament and was also a four-time district champion with a career prep record of 154-10. Rowley won a silver medal at the Cadet Freestyle World Championships and a bronze medal at the U15 Freestyle World Championships. He is a Reno Tournament of Champions winner and an Ironman, Doc B and Super 32 finalist. A Folkstyle Nationals champion and runner-up, Rowley was a multiple Oregon state champion in both Greco-Roman and Freestyle. He was also a producer for Crescent Valley Television, a student-run station that shares school and sports news as well as state and world news with Crescent Valley students each week. Rowley has a GPA of 3.25 and has signed a letter of intent to wrestle for the University of Wisconsin.

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 (11) - Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, 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

2022 Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award State Winners
State - Name, High School, Hometown, College Attending

Alabama - Cory Land, Moody High School, Moody, University of Northern Iowa
Alaska - Landon Smith, Bethel Regional High School, Bethel
Arizona - Kaleb Larkin, Valiant College Preparatory, Gilbert, Arizona State University
Arkansas - Hayden Rofkahr, Greenwood High School, Berryville
California - Joey Cruz, Clovis North High School, Clovis, University of Oklahoma
Colorado - Daniel Cardenas, Pomona High School, Westminster, Stanford University
Connecticut - Will Ebert, Fairfield Warde High School, Fairfield, Binghamton University
Delaware - Gabe Giampietro, Smyrna High School, Smyrna, Drexel University
Florida - Tom Crook, Jesuit High School, Tampa, Virginia Tech
Georgia - Matthew Singleton, Woodward Academy, College Park, North Carolina State
Hawaii - Blayze Sumiye, Moanalua High School, Ewa Beach, University of Providence
Idaho - Rylan Rogers, Coeur d’ Alene High School, Hayden, University of Michigan
Illinois - Ryan Boersma, Mount Carmel High School, Tinley Park, University of Missouri
Indiana - Jesse Mendez, Crown Point High School, Crown Point, Ohio State University
Iowa - Aiden Riggins, Waverly-Shell Rock High School, Janesville, University of Iowa
Kansas - Jerrdon Fisher, Goddard High School, Garden Plain, University of Missouri
Kentucky - Stephen Little, Union County High School, Sturgis, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Louisiana - Glenn Price, Archbishop Shaw High School, Marrero, University of New Orleans
Maine - Jackson Sutherland, Mattanawcook Academy, Lincoln, Maine Maritime Academy
Maryland - Richard Fedalen, McDonogh School, Laurel, Columbia University
Massachusetts - Aiden Hanning, Northfield Mount Hermon High School, Merrimack (New Hampshire), Cornell University
Michigan - Jacob Gonzales, Holly High School, Davisburg
Minnesota - Bennett Berge, Kasson-Mantorville High School, Mantorville
Mississippi - Jimmy Harpole, South Pontotoc High School, Pontotoc, United States Marine Corps
Missouri - Eli Ashcroft, Kearney High School, Liberty, University of Arkansas Little Rock
Montana - Trae Thilmony, Thompson Falls High School, Billings, North Carolina State
Nebraska - Garrett Grice, Bellevue East High School, Bellevue, University of Virginia
Nevada - Anthony Aniciete, Sports Leadership and Management of Nevada, Henderson, Tiffin University
New Hampshire - Jack McKiernan, Pinkerton Academy, Derry, American International College
New Jersey - Brian Soldano, High Point High School, Wantage, Rutgers University
New Mexico - Avery Atma, Las Cruces High School, Las Cruces
New York - Kole Mulhauser, Central Square High School, Central Square, Princeton University
North Carolina - Kyle Montaperto, Central Academy of Technology and Arts, Marvin, University of Virginia
North Dakota - Brock Fettig, Bismarck High School, Bismarck, South Dakota State University
Ohio - Dylan Fishback, Aurora High School, Aurora, North Carolina State
Oklahoma - Zach Blankenship, Bixby High School, Mounds, Oklahoma State University
Oregon - James Rowley, Crescent Valley High School, Corvallis, University of Wisconsin
Pennsylvania - Nicholas Feldman, Malvern Preparatory School, Quarryville, Ohio State University
Rhode Island - Adolfo Betencur, Bishop Hendricken High School, Johnston
South Carolina - David Hunsberger, James F. Byrnes High School, Lyman, Lander University
South Dakota - Luke Rasmussen, Brookings High School, Brookings, South Dakota State University
Tennessee - Ashton Davis, Cleveland High School, Lookout Mountain, University of Wyoming
Texas - Kenneth Hendriksen, Creekview High School, Carrollton, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Utah - Bridger Ricks, Box Elder High School, Perry
Vermont - Colton Perkins, Spaulding High School, Barre, Castleton University
Virginia - Adonis Lattimore, Landstown High School, Quinton, United States Naval Academy
Washington - Gage Cook, Granger High School, Vancouver, Oregon State
West Virginia - Derek Raike, Point Pleasant High School, Point Pleasant, Ohio University
Wisconsin - Clayton Whiting, Oconto Falls High School, Oconto, University of Missouri
Wyoming - Cody Phelps, Pinedale High School, Pinedale, Western Wyoming Community College

All-Time National Winners of Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award

2021 - Alex Facundo, Davison High School, Essexville, Michigan
2020 - Braxton Amos, Parkersburg South High School, Mineral Wells, West Virginia (Freestyle Junior World Champion and Greco-Roman Junior World Bronze Medalist)
2019 - Cohlton Schultz, Ponderosa High School, Parker, Colorado (Greco-Roman Cadet World Champion)
2018 - David Carr, Perry High School, Massillon, Ohio (NCAA Champion and Junior World Champion)
2017 - Daton Fix, Charles Page High School, Sand Springs, Oklahoma (World Silver Medalist, Junior World Champion and 2X Junior World Bronze Medalist)
2016 - Mark Hall II, Apple Valley High School, Apple Valley, Minnesota (NCAA Champion, 2X Junior World Champion and Cadet 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 (Olympic Gold Medalist, World Champion, World Silver Medalist 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.