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Will Lewan - One of Five Finalists for the Dave Schultz Excellence in Wrestling Award
Posted 05/17/2018 08:46AM

Congratulations to senior, Will Lewan, Jr., for being chosen as one out of only five finalists for the National Wrestling Hall of Fame - Illinois Chapter Dave Schultz Excellence in Wrestling Award. 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.

"We had 5 great candidates," said Mr. Dale Eggert, National Wrestling Hall of Fame - Illinois Chapter Committee member and Libertyville High School Wrestling Coach. (Other finalists were: Zac Braunagel (Althoff), Anthony Cassioppi (Hononegah), Jack Jessen (Willowbrook), and Austin Macias (Burlington Central). "Our committee looks for 5 Illinois finalists based on their IHSA Folkstyle success, then we look for freestyle and Greco-Roman National success. We don't look for the character, academic, and service records until after we get the applications and letters of recommendation returned. But this is as big of a part of this award as wrestling success!"

Mr.Eggert was proud to be able to choose five outstanding finalists in all aspects. "Several committee members mentioned what a hard time they had voting. And Sandy Stevens, known for her announcing of all the big wrestling events in the USA, including the Fargo Nationals, said she wanted to vote for all of them!" (Eggert noted that one year, she voted for none.)

In a letter to athletes, parents and coaches, he National Wrestling Hall of Fame - Illinois Chapter thanked the finalists for their fine careers in wrestling and for being model citizens. They also thanked the parents, coaches, and administrators, "because we know the impact you have had on a wrestler worthy of being a Dave Schultz Excellence in Wrestling Award finalist."

The national winner was announced on May 8. The Illinois recipient is Anthony Cassioppi. The Midwest recipient is David Carr (Massillon, OH), and he will be presented with his award during the 42nd Annual Honors Weekend at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum on June 1-2 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

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 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.

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