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Dave Schultz High School Excellence winners announced for all 48 states; First female selected

STILLWATER, Okla. -- The National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum in Stillwater, Okla. has announced its 2007 state winners of the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award. This annual award is bestowed upon high school seniors who demonstrate excellence in wrestling, scholastic achievement, character, citizenship, and community service.

Among the winners selected from the 48 states that sponsor high school wrestling championships is the first female wrestler ever to win the Dave Schultz Award, Randolyn "Hoku" Nohara from Kamehameha School in Honolulu, Hawaii. Nohara recently won her fourth consecutive Hawaii State Wrestling Championship in the 220-pound girls division. A world-class power lifter, she also set 12 world records in the bench press and dead lift. She will attend the University of Hawaii next fall on a softball scholarship.

"I know that I have been given some ability and I try to honor that by working as hard as I can to make the most of it," Nohara said. "It is a great honor to be the first female to win this award."

The award, named in honor of Olympic and World Champion Dave Schultz, has recognized 482 wrestlers since its inception in 1996.

"A graduate of Palo Alto High School and the University of Oklahoma, Dave Schultz was one of the greatest and most well-liked high school, collegiate, and international wrestlers the United States has ever had," said Lee Roy Smith, Executive Director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Regarded as a tireless competitor and supreme tactician on the mat, he was beloved throughout the world of amateur wrestling for his friendliness and eagerness to lend help or advice to teammates and opponents alike. Schultz was inducted into the sport's Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Member in 1997.

This year the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum will expand its Dave Schultz High School Excellence program to include a Leadership Camp for those individuals selected for the award.

"Thanks to a grant from a private foundation, we are pleased to expand this program and provide the winners of our Dave Schultz Award with the opportunity to attend an all-expense-paid Leadership Camp at the United States Olympic Training Center from June 18-21, in Colorado Springs, Colo.," Smith said.

The camp will be hosted and organized at the U.S. Olympic Training Center by USA Wrestling, the sport's governing body.

"USA Wrestling is equally excited to join the Hall of Fame in fulfilling the requirements of this program by providing a World Class program at the Olympic Training Center for the student-athletes chosen to participate in this camp," said Rich Bender, USA Wrestling's Executive Director. "The camp agenda will include instructional sessions with our freestyle and Greco Roman national coaches and wrestlers, and will also feature presentations on sport psychology, strength and conditioning, nutrition, leadership development, and public speaking presented by experts in the field."

Part of the foundation's funding criteria requires that, after the camp, the award winners speak to at-risk youth in their communities on the benefits of participating in extra curricular activities like athletics.

Smith said the leadership and public speaking sessions will help the student-athletes prepare to fulfill this responsibility.

"These student-wrestlers are role models in their communities and have an opportunity to influence young people in a very meaningful way. Statistics show that both male and female students are more likely to stay in school, graduate, and become more productive citizens when they are involved in extra curricular activities and after school programs like sports, art, debate and music."

Five regional winners will be selected from the 48 state winners on April 23, and from that group, one individual will be selected as the national winner. The national winner will be invited to Honors Weekend, June 1-2, in Stillwater, Okla. to receive the award.

2007 Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award winners and their high school, listed by state:
Alabama / Derek Carmichael / Prattville High School
Alaska / Hollan Gravely / Colony High School
Arizona / Kyle DeBerry / Sunnyside High School
California / Boris Novachkov / Fremont High School
Colorado / Sonny Yohn / Alamosa
Connecticut / T.J. Hepburn / Ledyard High School
Delaware / Connor McDonald / Sussex Central Sr. High School
Florida / Brandon Hatchett / Oviedo High School
Georgia / Dorian Henderson / Columbus High School
Hawaii / Randolyn "Hoku" Nohara / Kamehameha School
Idaho / Kirk Smith / Centennial High School
Illinois / Mike Benefiel / Montini High School
Indiana / Ian Henton / Mishawaka High School
Iowa / Jimmy Waters / Lewis Central High School
Kansas / Brett Bahe / Great Bend High School
Kentucky / Tyler Voth / Paul Dunbar High School
Louisiana / Kamron Johnston / Parkway High School
Maine / Doug Williams / Sanford High School
Maryland / Eren Civan / Walt Whitman High School
Massachusetts / Sean Bilodeau / Brooks High School
Michigan / Justin Zeerip / Hesperia High School
Minnesota / Zachary Sanders / Wabasha-Kellogg High School
Missouri / Scott O'Donnell / Oak Park High School
Montana / Evan Hinebauch / Havre High School
Nebraska / Andy Pokorny / Bennington High School
Nevada / Kyle Barrett / Palo Verde High School
New Hampshire / D.J. Meagher / Bow High School
New Jersey / Kellen Russell / Blair Academy
New Mexico / Vicente Varela / Rio Rancho High School
New York / Corey Jantzen / Shoreham-Wading River High School
North Carolina / Chris Bullins / McMichael High School
North Dakota / Tyler Steinwand / Mandan High School
Ohio / Colt Sponseller / West Holmes High School
Oklahoma / Chris Hacker / El Reno High School
Oregon / Ryan Smith / Crook County High School
Pennsylvania / Zach Kemmerer / Upper Perkiomen High School
Rhode Island / Charlie Simone / Bishop Hendricken School
South Carolina / J.C. Oddo / Eastside High School
South Dakota / Sid Bice / Winner High School
Tennessee / Kelly Felix / Franklin High School
Texas / Luke Silver / Bishop Lynch High School
Utah / Shay Warren / Webber High School
Vermont / Ethan Raymond / Middlebury Union High School
Virginia / Cody Gardner / Christiansburg High School
Washington / Kelly Kubec / Lake Stevens High School
West Virginia / Dustin Haislip / Musselman High School
Wisconsin / T.J. Wunnicke / Dodgeville High School
Wyoming / Jeff Wood / Campbell County High School
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