Evanston senior wrestlers Anthony Joyner and David Sanchez were honored as the first recipients of the Elias George Scholarship Wednesday at the school’s annual senior awards banquet.

The scholarship fund was created through the generosity of the Hall of Fame coach’s daughter, Julie Windsor, and honors the legacy of a man who led the ETHS wrestling program from 1958 through 2000. George passed away in the summer of 2017.

Joyner and Sanchez were selected by a five-person panel that considered an individual’s wrestling achievements, leadership, and sportsmanship. Candidates had to have a minimum grade point average of 2.5 while also planning to participate in sports in college.

Joyner served as team captain in 2022 and was a three-year varsity starter. A two-time sectional qualifier, he was named to the Central Suburban League South division all-conference squad. Joyner plans to wrestle at Augustana College.

Sanchez was an all-conference selection in both wrestling and football and earned a GPA of 3.9. He also captained the wrestling team and will play football at North Park University next fall.

“One of the main criteria for the scholarship was that the winners play a sport in college,” pointed out the current Evanston head wrestling coach, Rudy Salinas. “Coach George’s daughter wants to keep his values and legacy alive, and give our kids some incentive to succeed in college.”

Elias George was voted into the Evanston Hall of Fame in 2015. His long coaching tenure included eight top 10 finishes at the Illinois High School Association state finals, including a tie for second place in the team standings in 1967, the best finish in program history. Nine individuals captured state championships under George’s guidance.

George is a member of the Pennsylvania Athletic Hall of Fame, has been inducted into the Illinois Wrestling Hall of Fame, and served on the United States Olympic wrestling committee for 8 years. Since 2009, the Elias George Award has been presented to the top grappler in the CSL South division every year, and Evanston’s team MVP award bears his name as well.

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