West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

Today, I have the extreme pleasure of announcing Mat Talk's 21st Annual "OVAC West Virginia and Ohio Wrestlers of the Year."

The honorees are determined by a committee of five Ohio Valley wrestling enthusiasts, which includes and is chaired by yours truly. As always, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bill Hinegardner (1984 Mr. Mat), Ron Mauck (1986 Mr. Mat), Dave Kovalick (1988 Mr. Mat), and Dick Wolf for graciously volunteering to serve on this selection board. I have never worked with a more sincere and honorable group of men.

The recipients must be seniors and are chosen on the basis of personal wrestling accomplishments over their entire scholastic careers. This year's winners are Wheeling Central's Zach Basich and Bridgeport's Bryan Skoff.

Zach Basich
* Two-Time West Virginia AA State Champion (2007 & 2008)
* Four-Time West Virginia AA State Place Winner
* Four-Time West Virginia AA Regional Champion (2005 - 2006 - 2007 - 2008)
" OVAC Champion (2007)
" OVAC Silver Medalist (2008)
* Four-Time OVAC Place Winner
* 2007 Buckeye Local Invitational Champion
* Two-Time Union Local DOAN'S Ford Champion
* 2007 West Mifflin (Pa) Invitational Champion
* Senior Record: 26-3
* Over-all Record: 135-20
* GPA: 3.50
* Zach plans to attend the U.S. Naval Academy
* Coaches: Chick LaMotte and Joey Skoff

Bryan Skoff
* 2008 Ohio Division III State Place Winner
* Two-Time Ohio Division III State Place Winner
* Two-Time Ohio Division III District Finalist
* 2008 OVAC Tournament Champion
* Four-Time OVAC Place Winner
* 2006 St. Johns Invitational Champion & MVP
* 2007 Beallsville Invitational Champion & MVP
* 2007 Union Local Doan's Ford Champion & MVP
* Two-Time Beallsville Champion
* Two-Time Shadyside Champion
* Two-Time New Lexington Champion
* Over-all Record: 156-35 (Ties school record with Brian Roskovich, who was the OVAC Ohio Wrestler of the Year and former state champ in 1995)
* Byran plans to attend college at Mt. Union
* Coaches: Ross and Brian Roskovich


Since this is the last Mat Talk column of the season, it is again time for my faithful readers to be tested on the facts disseminated throughout the series. There are no grades given, but you can rate yourselves.

True or False
1. There are no longer any individual ties in wrestling.
2. The coach can instruct his wrestler during injury time.
3. A wrestler can never lose if he has a technical fall.
4. Excessive false starts can never disqualify a wrestler.
5. A fall scores the same amount of team points in a dual meet and a tournament.

Short Answers
6. What is biting an opponent in wrestling designated as in the rulebook?
7. How many match points are awarded for a takedown right to the back, with the match being stopped due to the bottom man crying out that he is injured?
8. If Wrestler A applies a straight body scissors while attempting a fall and Wrestler B can not continue, who wins the match?
9. What can eliminate a wrestler from competing in a dual meet or tournament before it starts? 10. If a wrestler secures a takedown while his opponent is a figure-4 head scissors, how many points would he receive?

Mat Salute

Special accolades are addressed to the following 2007 area individual state champs:

West Virginia: Dirk Bauer and Nick Taylor, Wheeling Park; James McFarland, Brooke; Zach Basich, Wheeling Central; and Ryan Asbury and Cody Miller, Oak Glen.

Furthermore, all OVAC wrestlers who have placed in their respective state tournaments will again receive the WHEELING NEWS-REGISTER's "Mat Talk All-State Award Winner" certificates for their outstanding performances. This year certificates have been forwarded to 50 local matmen. Since 1982, more than 1000 certificates have been distributed.

Special Recognition

Congratulations are forwarded to the Oak Glen wrestlers and the coaching staff on their 12th straight West Virginia State AA Championship. Also, many congrats to Golden Bear head coach, Larry Shaw, for producing his 50th individual state champion this year, which ranks him second to Parkersburg's Coach Joe Handlan (52) for most state champs.

Many kudos to first-year Wheeling Park Coach Sean Doyle and his "Patriot" matmen and coaching staff on finishing an outstanding season with a second place finish in the West Virginia AAA Championships. Earlier in the year they were also over-all team champions at the gigantic OVAC Wrestling Tournament.

Permit me to take this opportunity to thank the Editorial Staff of Wrestling USA Magazine for presenting yours truly with the prestigious "2008 Master-of-Wrestling Award."

Official's Corner

This year three area referees were selected to officiate the state tournaments on both sides of the Ohio River. Jack Regis, Shane Kildow, and Chris Diserio refereed the West Virginia State Championships. In fact, Jack Regis was selected as the "2008 West Virginia Official of the Year." Cadiz native Paul Coffland officiated at the Ohio State Tournament this year. Many congratulations are extended to all three of these fine OVAC officials!

Special Thanks
I want to take this opportunity to thank Dave Kovalick of Barnesville for his willingness to be on the "wrestler of the year" selection committee for the past 21 years. He is stepping down. Thank you Dave for a job well done. Taking his place as an Ohio member of the committee is Dan Doyle, the new OVAC Tournament Director. Also, I want to thank Mrs. Mary Lou Mauck for helping me with the all-state certificate award winners. She uses her computer expertise to fill out the certificates. Thank you, Mary Lou Mauck.

Mat Message
"It takes as much courage to have tried and failed as it does to have tried and succeeded."
- Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Answers to the Mat Talk Final Exam:
1. True; 2. True; 3. False; 4. True; 5. False; 6. Flagrant Misconduct; 7. Four Match Points; 8. Wrestler A; 9. Not Making Weight; 10. Three Match Points.

Check Your Rating
(the number right)

9 to 10 - Referee's Rating (He has the last word.)
6 to 8 - Coach's Rating (He has the next-to-last word.)
3 to 5 - Spectator's Rating (He knew the answer but is now confused because the "ref" and coach are having words.)
0 to 2 - No Rating (You've been watching too much studio "rassling" and are at a loss for words.)

Be seeing you next season with more "Mat Talk!"


The following are the past West Virginia and Ohio wrestlers receiving the prestigious OVAC Wrestlers of the Year Award:

1988 - John Crain, Oak Glen
Rick Burlenski, Bridgeport

1989 - Dave Wood, Cameron
Dunyasha Yetts, Steubenville

1990 - Ed Neely, Weirton Madonna
Babe Sidon, Martins Ferry

1991 - Eric Potts, Cameron
Scott DeYarmon, Buckeye Local

1992 - R. C. Anderson, Cameron
John Gilbeaut, Union Local

1993 - Ryan Dudas, Cameron
Kelly Shields, Edison

1994 - Chad Burge, Cameron
Ryan Slack, Shadyside

1995 - Jason Taylor, Wheeling Park
Brian Roskovich, Bridgeport

1996 - Josh Giovengo, Bishop Donahue
Eric Anderson, Bellaire St. John's

1997 - Dewitt Stanley, Brooke
Sean Doyle, Buckeye Local

1998 - Chad Pratz, Linsly
Travis Clark, Union Local

1999 - Alex McClung, Oak Glen
Matt Salsberry, East Liverpool

2000 - Steve Ochap, Wheeling Park
Scott Roth, Martins Ferry

2001 - Eric Noel, Oak Glen
Cole Bowersock, Beaver Local

2002 - Derrick Sickles, Oak Glen
John Tierney, Martins Ferry

2003 - Phil Bliss, Brooke
David Berolino, Buckeye Local

2004 - Casey Hughes, Cameron
Koel Davia, Union Local

2005 - Dustin Richey, John Marshall
Clay Tucker, Martins Ferry

2006 - Rhett Northcraft, Oak Glen
Willie Saxton, Buckeye Local

2007 - Ronnell Green, Wheeling Park
James Myers, Indian Creek

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