The Story of the David Schultz Champion of Champions Memorial Trophy designed by Joey Krebs

Dave Schultz Champion of Champions Award

Each year the David Schultz Champion of Champions Memorial Trophy is exclusively created, produced, and designed for a very special wrestler in California. The process begins with the etching onto a gold-plated kiln fired glass with gold-rimmed plate. The Trophy is exhibited and individually presented to the Most Outstanding Wrestler every year at the Bakersfield CIF State Championship in Bakersfield California. Joey Krebs of Wrestling  Saves Lives has created and produced diverse and distinguished campaigns, projects and exclusive works of Art for many groups and causes in the Wrestling community. The Artist  who wrestled is committed to memorializing the legendary tradition of Dave Schultz in creating a limited edition glass Ceremonial Trophy platter for the CIF State Wrestling Championship.   

Previous most outstanding David Schultz Champion of Champions Memorial Trophy winners include some of the greatest wrestlers in America today.  Previous Champion of Champions recipients have included   California High School  Wrestlers; Zahid Valencia, Jason Welch, Jason Lara, Jake Varner and Billy Murphy, Nicholas Sierra, and Morgan McIntosh. This year our award was selectively given to Nikko Villarreal who upset Alex Cisneros.  Nikko Villarreal was chosen to receive the award by his peers where he was selected in directing the greatest upsets in high school wrestling history as he defeated Alex Cisneros in dramatic fashion at the 2012 California State finals. Cisneros was set to become the second ever 4x state champion in California where he was in the lead winning 3-0 when Villarreal threw him to his back in the last ten seconds of the match for the victory.

Our Award Winning wrestlers have gone on to become the top ranked national and international wrestlers in America and in the world today.   What greater Athlete to represent the distinction of our trophy then the first athlete who first received   the award in 2004, Jake Varner was present during the 2012 awards ceremony where he went on to a great college national career and ranked as international top competitor   soon to be a representative of the USA Olympic for the London 2012 Olympiad.     There is no award as Democratically directed or distinguished as the David Schultz Champion of Champions Memorial Trophy. The Trophy stands as a testimonial to the great-recognized California State of Wrestling. 

The Wrestling Saves Lives Project was first presented to Alan Paradise and the CIF State Championship committee in the interest of proposing an exclusive Design Award for the California State Wrestling Championship. Alan Paradise was the grandson of Artist Phil Paradise who was first taught art by Ruth Heil Stutzman at Kern Union High School; Ruth Heil Stutzman was the first founder of the Bakersfield Art Association where a scholarship was awarded to honor her name at Cal State Bakersfield.

Wrestling fans have asked how the selection process begins for the award. The Democratic selection process begins each year with ballots being given to all individual State champions. Each State Champion Wrestler then cast their ballots for who exemplify the greatest wrestler in the State.  Once individually completed the votes are then returned to the CIF Tournament Championship Director where they are recounted in making the final choice of who is selected for the Most Outstanding Wrestler in the State of California for that year. The MOW award was renamed in 2004 as The David Schultz Champion of Champions Memorial Trophy which represents a memorial dedicated to the deceased Olympian who life was a living testimonial as a role model of a true champion through hard work, creativity and dedication. 

The  Artist had the opportunity to review Nancy Schultz private photo archives where he was a friend and inspired by David Schultz. He reviewed a photo portrait of David Schultz winning the 1984 Olympics, in Los Angeles. The trophy stands 18 inches high from its diameter, the length of a typical wrestler’s first step you vote with  in the initiation of a takedown. 

During the year of 2006 which was the 10th anniversary of the passing of David Schultz. To mark that special anniversary, the Artist and CSUB Alumni Wrestler  Joey Krebs produced and directed a short memorial interstitial which accompanied and announced the David Schultz Champion of Champion Memorial Trophy.  The video was broadcast on YOUTUBE. The Interstitial gave the audience members a brief history of David Schultz, in celebrating and honoring his accomplishments and his life as well as the documentary making of the Award. 

The YOUTUBE Video has been reviewed by 10,000 of individual hits.   Wrestling Saves Lives would like to present an exclusive web-cast of the David Schultz Champion of Champion Memorial Trophy and its Ceremonial Tribute Interstitial. Directed by the artist who has joined with many organizations and individuals to create and produce diverse cause campaigns and exclusive works of Art for many groups and individuals in our community.  

The Committees for the David Schultz Memorial Trophy plans are to endow the creative process supported by patrons and philanthropists like Harlan Kistler, Esq who are long-time supporters of the memorial platter and CIF Wrestling through their tireless efforts and their generous contributions. The WSL project bears the deceased Wrestlers name is planned to be endowed in perpetuity. The future plans for the award will be scheduled  to be exhibited at the Wrestling  Hall of  Fame  in Tulare which will travel  throughout  the  State for one year prior to its presentation at the CIF State  Wrestling meet.

The intent in creating this Trophy was to capture the essence of wrestling legend Dave Schultz’s monumental strength and personality through this artwork.   The Award will mark the first of many traditions of passing on recognition through the arts to the next generation of young wrestling talent.  The Ceremonial Platter was individually handcrafted by Joey Krebs transforming  likeness and sheet glass magically into a decorative platter. The glass platter will be carefully shaped inside a closed kiln by heating it to melting temperature. Once the glass has approached its nearly liquid state, it gravitates to the formed shape as seen in this unique line. After a gradual decrease in temperature to a complete cool-down, the platter will be hand cut and high polished on diamond wheels. The plate was designed and composed inspired by the portrait of Olympian Dave Schultz surrounded by an etched text included with a unique individual flair. Once a piece has proceeded through these work flawless stages, various polished or hand chipped base or pedestal  will be permanently attached. Upon completion, the Schultz Trophy piece was signed and dated by the Artist effectively becoming a  historized collectible. 

Wrestling Saves Lives Productions (ASL) is an artistic community which is dedicated to creating new cultural commentary combining many disciplines. WSL aims to bring to life innovative and significant works of art that will challenge awareness and responsibly change the way one views the world through the arts. Through the collaboration of our diverse collective WSL seeks to create an artistic community can affect responsible difference and social commentary in the world. WSL seeks to build community among craftsman, artisans and artists of many media and disciplines with the intent to unite in common cause.

2019 Dave Schultz Champion of Champions Award Winners – Amit Elor & Jesse Vasquez