Legacy Award Winners
LEGACY AWARD – December 2013
Presented to: Gene Barnhill
Service: 1970 – present
We wish to extend our sincere thanks for your contribution to wrestling in Nebraska over the years. From your creation of the Greater Omaha Elementary Wrestling Association in the 1970’s, to the still relevant today Westside Wrestling Club, you have always used wrestling to educate and teach young men about life and self-pride.
LEGACY AWARD March 7, 2015
Presented to: Jack Bryans
We wish to honor “Coach” posthumously for his contribution to wrestling in Nebraska over the years.From 4-year letterman at UNL to organizer of the Greater Omaha Elementary Wrestling Association in 1972, to coaching thousands of 66ers & other youth wrestlers; Coach used the words, “Let ‘em wrestle!” to build up kids and their self-esteem for life.
LEGACY AWARD – March 8, 2015
Presented to: Paul Martinez
We wish to extend a sincere “thank you” for your contributions to wrestling in Nebraska. For 34 years boys and girls of all ages have enjoyed having you officiate their match as if it were the most important match of the day. You ceaselessly demonstrate sportsmanship to each wrestler you come in contact with, on and off the mat.
Thank you for never failing to “get down on the mat” to ensure each call was done to the best of your ability. Nebraska Youth
LEGACY AWARD – March 12, 2017
Presented to: Dave Walton
We wish to extend a sincere “thank you” for your contributions to wrestling in Nebraska. For ?? years boys and girls of all ages have enjoyed having you officiate their match as if it were the most important match of the day. You ceaselessly demonstrate sportsmanship, fairness and a love for the sport of wrestling.
Thank you for leading with confidence and never failing to remain consistent and fair with your mat calls regardless of the wrestler, team, coach or tournament. Your dedication to mentoring new wrestling officials has been a blessing to youth and high school wrestling!
LEGACY AWARD – March 4, 2018
Presented to: Austin Middleton
We wish to extend our sincere thanks for your sportsmanship as a high school wrestler. Your selfless act of kindness and leading with character as a senior wrestler at Ralston High School exemplifies what it means to use “wrestling to teach lessons for future success in other aspects of life.” Your last high school match will forever be remembered as the match that qualified you as the type of grappler other youth should strive to be like.
Down syndrome wrestler wins his first match Ralston High School wrestler Austin Middleton saw Seward wrestler Grant Fehlhafer, 15,
a freshman with Down syndrome, and invited him to his first match.
Video courtesy of Ralston Public Schools:
LEGACY AWARD – May 15, 2019
Presented to: Pat Rush
“We would like to recognize you for this award for the tireless efforts you put into coaching wrestling. You’ve put in 36 Yates at BJSA and 25 years at Bellevue East. We hope you continue to do what you’re so passionate about for many years to come!”
You continue to have a positive influence on youth & high school wrestlers. You bring new meaning to the quote “embrace the grind”, during the high school season with the youth season, it’s a 7 days a week grind. We hope you continue to do what you’re so passionate about for many years to come.
LEGACY AWARD – 2021
Presented to: Tim Dickey
We wish to extend our sincere “thank you” for all your dedication to the Gross Catholic Wresting program and wrestling community.
You’ve been a role model, mentor, and coach to countless young boys and girls for 37 years. They are extremely fortunate to have been mentored by someone who is so enthusiastic about the sport. You exhibit positive sportsmanship, fairness, and integrity, as well as a passion for wrestling. Thank you for inspiring all of the wrestlers, parents, and coaches. All of your hard work has aided in the development of these tiny bodies into incredible men and women.
LEGACY AWARD – 2021
Presented to: Matt Nissen
We wish to extend our sincere “thank you” for all your dedication to the Jr. Titans Wrestling program and to the wrestling community.
As a founding member of the Jr Titans in 2006, you have actively served as the OMAWA rep, a board member and president of the club for 12+ years. Your countless hours of service for youth wrestling has been instrumental in pushing the sport to where it is today. The Jr Titan Winter Classic Tournament has grown to become an annual success as a result of your hard work and leadership over the years. Thank you for setting the bar high for those that will lead after you!
LEGACY AWARD – 2022
Presented to: Leonard Hawkings
You’ve been a role model, mentor, and referee to countless young boys and girls, and a mentor for officials, for more than 25 years. You exhibit fairness, integrity, and positive sportsmanship, along with your passion for wrestling. We wish to extend our sincere “thank you” for all your dedication to Nebraska Wrestling and the wrestling community as a whole!
Video courtesy of Alex Cloyd, NEUSAW Media Specialist