FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Euell A. Wilson Award goes to the SAC’s best football player at the end of the season – an award inspired by the football star who died too young 23 years ago.
A six-foot-two wide receiver, Wilson helped lead Bishop Dwenger to back-to-back state championships in 1990 & 1991. A Parade All-American, Wilson selected Indiana University over Miami and Michigan, opting to play with friend and high school teammate Chris Dittoe in Bloomington.
First, Wilson had to attend Triton College, a junior college in River Grove, Illinois. On November 13, 1992 a 19-year old Wilson passed away in his sleep, shocking the Fort Wayne football community.
Originally, it was suspected Wilson died due to an undiscovered heart condition or a brain aneurysm. However, after months of trying to determine an exact cause doctors gave their final diagnosis as adults SIDS.
Two weeks after his passing the Summit Athletic Conference helped establish the Wilson Award, given annually to the top player in the conference.
Just a handful of months later Shirley Woods, Euell’s mother, helped establish the Euell A. Wilson Center, an organization that helps children at its location on Oxford Street. The center provides food, support, and guidance specifically for children after school.
Bishop Dwenger continues to support the Wilson Center, sending a bus of students every Monday during the school year to help children at the center with their home work.