Saul Ervin photo

SIUE redshirt sophomore Saul Ervin (right) competes in a regular season wrestling match.

Of the 191 student-athletes throughout the country to receive the National Wrestling Coaches Administration Scholar all American Award, Redshirt sophomore Saul Ervin of Morganfield, Kentucky, is one of them.

Coming from a larger family, Ervin said wrestling was something became interested in after growing up watching wrestling with his brothers. He said wrestling was something he enjoys because of how much he’s able to keep improving and how many friends he’s made.

“There’s always something you can work on and get better at, and that’s one of my favorite things about wrestling,” Ervin said. “Some of my best friends now are from the wrestling team.”

Upon winning the award, Ervin said he felt honored to be given the opportunity to see his hard work pay off, and he said this puts him one step closer to his goals.

“I have two goals — one is to be a physical therapist or chiropractor one day. My other main goal is to be the All-American national champ — [to accomplish] those two things, you have to prioritize and make time and I think I made those two goals a passion of mine,” Ervin said.

Head Wrestling Coach Jeremy Spates, said he believes Ervin has done well throughout the time he’s been his coach, but that he’s done especially well recently.

“Over the offseason last year, he did a good job of closing the gap and fixing the little things that he was getting wrong. Last year he had a really great record and ended up being a national qualifier. We’re pretty excited about where he’s at on the wrestling aspect,” Spates said.

Spates said he has known Ervin and his family for many years with other members of the Ervin family wrestling at SIUE too.

“His dad, uncle and one of his brothers — a bunch of family, have wrestled at SIUE in the past and I started doing camps for [the Ervin family] years ago,” Spates said.

Spates said this year marks the third year in a row that SIUE has had one of its wrestlers win the NWCA Scholar All-American Award.

“It’s always fun when we see our guys getting awards. A lot of these guys have gotten awards on the athletic side, but when they can [see] their hard work in the classroom paying off and them being awarded for that, that’s always exciting,” Spates said.

Senior Kevin Gschwendtner of Pontiac, Illinois, is also a member of the wrestling team and said he thinks Ervin is a hard worker and an especially good wrestler.

“When he’s off the mat he’s very nice, and when he’s on the mat, he wants to tear your head off,” Gschwendtner said.

When he heard the news, Gschwendtner said he wasn’t surprised Ervin won the NWCA Scholar All-American award.

“He’s a very smart individual, school comes naturally to him. He helps me with my business homework, sometimes with my math and I know he helps other people,” Gschwendtner said.

Ervin said he doesn’t believe winning this award will change his future seasons very much due to his goals and mindset.

“I had such a great mindset going into it already about staying diligent with my workouts and my school work, this is just telling me to keep doing what I’m doing and great things will happen and that I’m on the right track,” Ervin said.

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