With a strong resume at the top of a deep senior class, Ben Schnurr recently added his name to the prestigious list of Henry W. Schultz Award winners at Fort Dodge Senior High.
Each year, the honor is bestowed upon the top graduating Dodger male athlete.
"It's a big honor," Schnurr said. "It really surprised me to win (the award). I actually thought some of my other classmates had more of an advantage than I did, so I'm very appreciative and thankful."
Throughout his prep career, Schnurr was a reliable performer for both the FDSH football and wrestling programs. On the gridiron, Schnurr was a two-way player and two-year starter, earning first-team all-CIML Iowa Conference recognition as a senior. Last fall, the 200-pound lineman was the Dodgers' only unanimous all-league choice.
In 2010, Schnurr helped Fort Dodge to its first unbeaten conference crown since 1950, and their first eight-win regular season since 1981 as a starting center.
"Ben meant a ton to our program," said FDSH head coach Matt Miller. "We always depended on him to give us some quality downs every time he stepped on the field Friday nights. He was a great competitor and a fun kid to coach. Those are the types of kids you're always going to remember. I definitely appreciate all he did for me."
TIMEOUT WITH BEN SCHNURR
Vacation destination: The Bahamas.
People I would like to have dinner with: Brett Favre, Matt Roth, Dan Gable.
It would surprise people that I: eat a lot.
My sports role model: Dan Gable.
My everyday role model: my parents.
I can't go a day without: Lemonade.
Nickname: Hill Benny.
Superstition: I have to listen to the same song before every game and match.
Most heated rivalry: West Des Moines Valley.
Favorite road trip: Mason City.
What are you listening to right now? Johnny Cash.
Team: Iowa Hawkeyes.
Movie: Friday Night Lights.
Magazine: Sports Illustrated.
In wrestling, Schnurr qualified for state in his final two seasons with the Dodgers, compiling a 55-23 overall mark during that stretch. This past winter, Schnurr reached the Class 3A 220-pound quarterfinals after advancing to Des Moines as a district champion.
"He gave us four strong years and dedicated himself to the program just like every sport," Fort Dodge head coach Bobby Thompson said. "In my seven years (at FDSH), very few kids have worked as hard as Ben. He came a long way maturity-wise to get to where he is today. His whole family contributed a great deal to the program and was always supportive."
Schnurr credits his tireless work ethic as the main reason for all his success.
"Starting at 5 a.m., I worked out consistently three or four times a day," said Schnurr. "I was never satisfied and didn't want to lose focus."
Beating West Des Moines Valley on the road to capture the outright CIML Iowa Conference title in 2010 was Schnurr's most memorable sports moment.
"I'm always going to remember the whole town of Fort Dodge coming together after that win," Schnurr said. "With the community behind us, we felt a lot of Dodger Pride."
Schnurr also acknowledged his coaches and parents, Jerry and Beth, for providing a positive influence.
"My parents were great, and were always at every game and match," said Schnurr. "Coach Thompson was there whenever I needed him, too. My football coaches were also outstanding and helped me mature and improve my form and technique."
Outside of athletics, Schnurr was voted 2011 Homecoming King and took part on Dodger Senate.
Schnurr will continue his wrestling career at the NJCAA level for perennial power Iowa Central.