Apple Valley High School senior Destin McCauley was selected as the 2011 St. Paul Downtown Lions Club Athlete of the Year today. The award, first given in 1943, honors the top amateur athlete in the area. McCauley joins the likes of Joe Mauer, Paul Molitor, and Dave Winfield of Minnesota Twins fame, Olympians Natalie Darwitz and Rob McClanahan, as well as Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke as winners of this award. He joins fellow AVHS graduate and current Philadelphia Eagles football player Trevor Laws as recipients from the school. Laws won the award in 2003.
McCauley is the winningest wrestler in Minnesota history. His career win total of 286 (against only 7 losses) is the most in Minnesota history. He also holds the record for career pins with 197. Destin leaves Apple Valley High School with 11 state champion medals (5 as an individual and 6 with his team) and he was a member of 2 national championship teams. He also won two national freestyle wrestling titles and a Pan-American individual championship.
In addition to the St. Paul Downtown Lions Club Award, Destin was also the National Wrestling Coaches Association Senior Wrestler of the Year and was a finalist for the National Wrestling Hall of Fame High School Excellence award. McCauley is currently training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs with hopes of wrestling in the 2012 London Olympics. He will attend the University of Wisconsin. Special congratulations to Destin’s parents, Todd and Brandi McCauley, as well as Apple Valley’s Head Wrestling Coach Jim Jackson.