New EPCHS Football, Wrestling Scholarships Introduced
EVERGREEN PARK, IL – Evergreen Park Community High School is pleased to announce the addition of two new annual scholarships, one for football and the other for wrestling. The student athlete scholarships are the result of donations from Nicholas (Nick) and Candace Mizaur. Nick Mizaur is a 1986 EPCHS alum who participated in football, wrestling and track for the Mustangs.
The Don Ferchau Mustang Defensive Player of the Year Award will be open to any varsity defensive player on the Mustang football team. Students must be academically eligible and have no behavioral infractions during the entire school year to be eligible for the award.
The football award is in memory of Don Ferchau, Mizaur’s Varsity Football coach during his years at Evergreen Park. It’s the reinstatement of a Defensive Player of the Year award that Mizaur himself won in 1984.
“In the early 1980s, Head Varsity Football Coach Don Ferchau had introduced the award to be given annually to the best defensive player at the fall awards ceremony. Coach Ferchau stated at that time that he funded the award with his own money. Coach Ferchau died in September of 2019. His passing made me think about this award, how I could reinstate it, and provide something for the player who earned it,” Mizaur said.
The Kladis-George Mustang Wrestler of the Year Award will be given to one varsity wrestler a year, Mizaur said, with the same academic and behavioral requirements for eligibility as the football award. Mike Kladis, Mizaur’s former Mustang wrestling coach and John George, a former Mustang athletic director and wrestling mentor to Mizaur, share the namesake honor.
“I was coached and mentored by both men,” Mizaur said. “My original interest and subsequent success in wrestling was partially due to their coaching and mentorship. With proposing the reinstatement of the football award, I thought it would also be beneficial to promote wrestling too.”
Both awards will be associated with display trophies that will have the winners’ names engraved on them every year. The scholarship awards will be in the amount of $1,000 each, with the Evergreen Park Community High School Foundation managing the scholarship funds and sending them to the college or trade school of the winning student’s choice.
Mizaur, now the CEO of an Omaha, Nebraska based company, said the scholarship awards could become cumulative for student-athletes who win them multiple times.
“My wife and I are fortunate enough to be in the position to give back, and my time at Evergreen Park left a lasting impact on me,” he said. “Football, wrestling - and track - those sports were very impactful and taught me a lot of life lessons about teamwork and leadership.”