Updated: May 24, 2018

Photo: This is the latest cover of Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine (WIN), which features all of the magazine’s award winners from the past 12 months.

May 24, 2018

NEWTON, Iowa — Four-time Minnesota state champion Gable Steveson has captured the Junior Dan Hodge Trophy, presented by AAU, and headlines a list of WIN Magazine award winners for 2018.

Other award winners include:

  • Mike Chapman Impact Award — Bill Zadick, USA Wrestling Men’s Freestyle Coach;
  • Dan Gable Co-Coaches of the Year — Joe McFarland (Michigan) and Pat Popolizio (NC State);
  • Schalles Award for top collegiate pinner — Bo Nickal, Penn State;
  • Junior Schalles Award for top high school pinner — Mason Parris, Lawrenceburg (Ind.) High School;
  • WIN Journalist of the Year — K.J. Pilcher, Cedar Rapids Gazette

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All of these award winners are featured in the latest issue of WIN Magazine, which also announced its State-by-State High School Wrestlers of the Year, top NCAA Division I Recruiting Classes and Kyle Klingman’s WINNIEs, which are special awards about unique national wrestling moments over the past year.

To subscribe to WIN Magazine, go to or call 888-305-0606. To start a subscription with WIN’s annual May Awards Issue, use Promo Code: Award.

The following is more information on each of the award winners:

Gable Steveson graduates from Apple Valley High School with a 212-3 record, which are the fewest losses by a state of Minnesota wrestler. That included a 39-0 record this past winter when the heavyweight pinned 30 foes while also earning seven forfeits and one major decision. He will join his older brother Bobby at the University of Minnesota and also will go after his second Junior World freestyle championship and third straight age-group World title. He also finished third at the Senior-level World Team Trials Challenge tournament.

Gable Steveson qualified for his second Junior World freestyle team and finished third at the Senior level World Team Trials Challenge tournament. (Tim Tushla photo)

“The AAU is very proud to have Gable Steveson win this year’s Junior Hodge as the nation’s most dominant high school wrestler,” said AAU Wrestling Chair Bob Johnson. “When you combine a resume full of impressive credentials and experience with his athletic ability as a heavyweight, we’re confident he’ll have continued success at the college level and beyond for years to come.”

Bill Zadick celebrated winning the 2017 UWW World Championships team trophy last summer.

Bill Zadick was named the head coach of the USA Men’s Freestyle program in 2016 and has seen the program enjoy a banner year by capturing the first UWW World team championship since 1995 and the first UWW World Cup since 2003. In addition, USA also captured the UWW Junior World freestyle championship last summer. Much of America’s success is because of Zadick’s vision of developing USA’s most talented wrestlers at a younger age, highlighted by 21-year-old Kyle Snyder’s third straight World/Olympic gold medal last summer. Zadick, a former NCAA champion at Iowa, also won a World freestyle championship in 2006.

“Having observed Bill Zadick since his years on the mat for Iowa, I have a very high regard for him as a competitor and as a person who gets things done, effectively and with class,” said Mike Chapman, the founder of WIN and namesake of the award. “I think Bill is an excellent choice for the Impact Award and am delighted to see his name added to the list.”

Pat Popolizio

Joe McFarland and Pat Popolizo led their Michigan and NC State programs, respectively, to a tie for a fourth place trophy at the 2018 NCAA Championships. This was the final NCAA tournament for McFarland, who announced his retirement shortly after the NCAAs. Popolizio, meanwhile, in his sixth year at the helm and led the Wolfpack to its highest-ever NCAA finish.

“It (winning a team trophy) was really big in a lot of different ways,” Popolizio said. “It’s a positive for Division I wrestling. It gives a little bit of hope for other schools to have success. That’s healthy for any sport. It was definitely nice to leave NCAAs with a little bit of hardware.”

Joe McFarland

“It’s a nice way to go out and I really appreciate being recognized for the season we had,” McFarland said. “More importantly for me was going out with the type of team that we had. We had some great kids who were really successful on and off the mat. They did an outstanding job and we had a great season.”

The award is named after Gable, who captured 15 NCAA team championships in his 20-year tenure (1978-97) at the University of Iowa.

Bo Nickal

Bo Nickal of Penn State earned his 16th pin of the season and it was the biggest fall of his career when he rallied to flatten Ohio State’s Myles Martin in the 184-pound NCAA championship match. The pin also clinched a third-straight NCAA team title for the Nittany Lions.

Bo Nickal clinched a seventh Penn State team title in eight years when he pinned Ohio State Myles Martin in the 184-pound final.

“In all the years the Schalles Award has been given out, this is the first time where the recipient parallels exactly what I envisioned the award to represent,” said Wade Schalles, the namesake for the award and the former NCAA champion (1972, ’73) from Clarion, who pinned 109 foes in his career. “Bo Nickal is exciting, he’s unique and creative. He’s the type of wrestler that sells tickets — from spladles to elevators to a natural feel for positioning, pressure and balance, Bo has it all.”

Mason Parris (right)

Mason Parris pinned 38 foes in 39 matches in an undefeated season this past winter for Lawrenceburg (Ind.) High School. The three-time Indiana state champion, ranked No. 1 by WIN at 220 pounds, will wrestle next year at the University of Michigan.

“Mason is everything a collegiate coach looks for in a recruit,” Schalles said. “He’s a disciplined and focused student-athlete who is bonus-point driven.”

K.J. Pilcher has covered all levels of wrestling for the Cedar Rapids Gazette since 1999, from high school, to all levels of collegiate wrestling, to the Senior level. Pilcher is also effective in social media and helps with broadcasting high school wrestling meets for KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids. A college wrestler at Buena Vista in Storm Lake, Iowa, Pilcher credits his former coach Al Baxter for helping him develop a no-quit attitude.

K.J. Pilcher

“The sport of wrestling needs more writers like K.J., those who are as passionate about the sport as the wrestlers themselves,” said Gazette sports editor J.R. Ogden, who earned the first award in 1999. “With his background as a wrestler, K.J. captures what the wrestlers are thinking and feeling when they compete — and why they train and compete the way they do. His coverage of high school, college and international wrestling makes The Gazette a go-to source for wrestling.”