EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Two incoming SIUE wrestlers were honored Thursday as state winners of the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award (DSHSEA).
Justin Ruffin (McDonough, Georgia) and Saul Ervin (Morganfield, Kentucky) were named winners in their respective states. Both Ruffin and Ervin announced their intention to become members of the SIUE wrestling family back in November.
"This award is given to the best wrestler in each state," said SIUE Head Coach Jeremy Spates. "When you have two of the best wrestlers from their states coming in a recruiting class, that's really important for the program."
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 award was established in 1996 to honor the late Olympic and World champion Dave Schultz.
"Justin and Saul are both very talented wrestlers," said Spates. "These two guys are extremely hard-working. They are captains of their teams. They are wrestling year-round. They are going to different camps and the big national tournaments. They just really love the sport so when you combine their skill set with the love of the sport and work ethic good things happen."
The state winners were 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.
SIUE was the only Mid-American Conference member to have two earn the award. Missouri recruited its state's honoree.
2018 Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award State Winners
State – Name, High School
Georgia – Justin Ruffin, Union Grove High School
Kentucky – Saul Ervin, Union County High School