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Ohio State’s Kyle Snyder, Penn State’s Cael Sanderson and Zain Retherford, Minnesota prep Gable Steveson and Trackwrestling’s Andy Hamilton all enjoyed banner years the past 12 months … and all five were among those featured in WIN’s annual Awards Issue, which was printed May 25.
Snyder collected the Mike Chapman Impact Award after the native of Maryland proved a young wrestler can leave high school early … as he did in 2013 after he went 179-0 in winning Maryland state titles … before he eventually captured gold medals at the 2015 Worlds and 2016 Olympics … while also collecting a second NCAA championship for Ohio State.
Sanderson, for the third time in the past seven years, earned the Dan Gable Coach of the Year honor after he not only led the Nittany Lions to a second straight team championship and sixth title in the past seven years … but also produced five individual champions in St. Louis; four of who were underclassmen.
“I don’t care if he’s done it (won Coach of the Year) before,” said Gable. “Just because they are winning a lot as a team, you can’t just give it to the next best person because the next best person is in second place. Based on what Penn State did, especially between the Big Tens and the three-day performance at the NCAAs, he deserves this honor.”
Retherford, who earlier captured the WIN Magazine/Culture House Dan Hodge Trophy as the most dominant college wrestler in March, when he won his second NCAA title, also earned the Schalles Award as the nation’s top pinner for a second straight year.
“There hasn’t been a wrestler the likes of Zane Rutherford in well over a decade,” said Schalles of 149-pound Retherford. “He’s a rare breed indeed because he doesn’t care what the scoreboard reads. If you’re not on your back, Zane’s not happy. That type of mentality always leads to bonus-point bouts and an intimidation factor that simply overwhelms even the best of opponents. He’s in an elite class of his own with legends like (Dan) Gable, (Gene) Mills, (Randy) Lewis, Askren, etc.”
Meanwhile Gable Steveson, a three-time Minnesota state champion from Apple Valley High School and a two-time Cadet World freestyle champion, pinned 33 of 35 victims in an undefeated heavyweight season was selected as the winner of the Junior Schalles as the top high school pinner.
“There’s definitely a difference between someone who pins a lot and those who are pinners,” said Schalles. “Typically in the heavyweight division, wrestlers pin a lot, but seldom are they classified as a pinner like Dan Severn was so many years ago.
Hamilton made a big change as the former wrestling writer from the Des Moines Register took on the editorial lead at Trackwrestling.com and was named WIN’s 2017 Journalist of the Year.
“Andy knows the sport really well because he’s been in it such a long time. He’s truly a professional journalist and you can tell he loves the sport. He is a very worthy recipient of this award,” said WIN Publisher Bryan Van Kley.
Meanwhile, WIN also announced it’s state-by-state high school wrestlers of the year, which included Junior Hodge Trophy winner Daton Fix as Oklahoma’s best prep … as well as the magazine’s Top 25 NCAA Division I Recruiting rankings where Cornell was rated No. 1 over Iowa.
To read more about these special award winners as well as a look at who and could represent the United States in the 2017 World Championships in August, click here to subscribe to WIN … or call 888-305-0606.