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Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award - ZAIN RETHERFORD, Benton, Pa.



Two-time state champion Zain Retherford, a high school senior from Benton Area High School in Benton, Pennsylvania, has been selected as the national winner of the 2013 Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award. The High School Excellence Award, given in memory of Olympic and World Champion Dave Schultz, is evaluated on excellence in wrestling, scholastic achievement, citizenship, and community service.

Retherford won a Pennsylvania state title at 103 pounds as a freshman for Line Mountain High School and finished third at 112 as a sophomore. After transferring to Benton for his junior season, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association ruled him ineligible to compete. That disappointment only spurred him to one of the most dominating years in high school wrestling history.

In April of 2012, he won the NHSCA Junior National Championships. In June, he destroyed the competition at the FILA Cadet Freestyle National Championships, losing only one period in eight straight matches, and knocking off three ranked wrestlers. In July, he traveled to Fargo, N.D, to win the USAW Junior Freestyle National Championships, and in August, he defeated Russian Supian Nurmagomedov to become the FILA Cadet World Freestyle Champion at 63 kg.

Returning to Benton for his senior season, Retherford won the Super 32 Championship, the Ironman Championship, the Gatorade Championship and his second state title. He finished his high school career with a record of 130-3, capped off with Outstanding Wrestler honors at the Dapper Dan Classic.

An outstanding student, Retherford will graduate this spring with a 4.0 GPA and will attend Penn State University in the fall as a projected 141 pounder. He has been on the Academic Distinguished Honor Roll all four years of high school and a member of the National Honor Roll Society. He is also a member of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) and serves as a volunteer mentor for the Benton Tigers Youth Wrestling Club.
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