West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker


Excuses, Excuses, Excuses!

If you have been listening, reading and watching the news over the last year, it seems that certain groups have decided to blame McDonald's for their children's obesity. Here we go again; when in doubt, blame someone else.

Well, I hate to burst the bubble of all those who are pointing the finger at the "Golden Arches," but the problem isn't what's in McDonald's; it's what's in the home.

Before I explain myself, allow me to reminisce.

As a youngster growing up in the anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania, I remember eating food loaded with grease. The more grease the better it tasted.

Yet my friends and I were not overweight, and I know why. Let's take the summer months, for example. A typical breakfast consisted of bacon or sausage, scrambled eggs, and hash browns smothered with grease, and we could always ask for seconds. After breakfast, I ran out of the house to play. My peers and I picked teams and played sandlot baseball until lunch. There wasn't an empty baseball field to be seen.

Following a lunch of cheeseburgers, covered with lettuce, a slice of tomato, and good old-fashioned, grease-ladened mayonnaise, with a hefty side order of fries, we rushed to the local pools and swan most of the afternoon away. After our water activities, we rode our bikes all around town (sometimes with no hands) until supper.

Now supper consisted of roast beef, deeply submerged in gravy, mashed potatoes, vegetables, real butter-on-bread, and a dessert often consisting of cake and ice cream.

As we excused ourselves from the supper table, Dad would always assert, "Be home before dark." Again, we were constantly on the go, playing "capture the flag," cowboys and Indians, army battles, or just riding our bikes (sometimes with no hands) until dark.

I'm sure you're getting the picture; our bodies were always on the move, eating up 1000s of calories (many more than McDonald's could ever offer), with every physical activity we pursued.

Today, however, modern technology has changed the activities of our youngsters, and there's no sweat involved. They're clacking away, playing action-packed computer games or "surfin' the web" hours upon hours each day. Often the result: obesity.

If you don't believe me, check the baseball fields in the summer. Except for the couple of hours in the evening with organized league games, they're empty the rest of the day!

Bikes are collecting dust in the cellars, and you'll find very few teenagers in wellness centers or high school gyms working out. If we thought TV was bad, the computer puts the television to shame when it comes to apathy regarding the realm of physical activity.

Oh yeah, kids are a lot smarter today. Unfortunately, many of them are physical wrecks. Too much of anything is not good for the physical, emotional, or social well-being of the individual. Moderation is the key. Mankind's greatest technological advance is the creation of computers. They help in the business realm, disseminate knowledge of all kind, enlighten us on what's going on all over the world, and assist in educating our children.

But we have lost perspective; computers are a means to the end, and not the end in themselves! One must never forget the human factor. No one has ever thanked a computer for changing his or her life in a monumental fashion. Instead, we remember that "special person" (parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher, coach, friend, etc.), who pointed us in the right direction.

To be honest, I am typing this column on a laptop, and will send it via an e-mail attachment. However, I was previously, physically working out for an hour and a half, sweating on my stationary bike, and doing sit-ups and push-ups - and I'm almost 60 years old!

In sum, don't blame the "Big Mac," but the "Big Clack," for our children's obesity. Then you will finally be on the right track!

The Near Fall

Only the top or offensive wrestler can score near-fall points. He can do so by forcing his opponent (the defensive wrestler) into any of the following positions:
1) The defensive wrestler is in a high bridge situation.
2) The defensive wrestler is leaning back on his elbows with his shoulders facing the mat.
3) The defensive wrestler is exposing both his shoulders to the mat within four inches or less contact with the mat surface.
4) The defensive wrestler has one shoulder in contact with the mat and the other shoulder at a 45-degree position from the mat or less.

The offensive wrestler can score two match points by holding the defensive wrestler in any of the previously discussed positions for two seconds. If the offensive wrestler is able to control the defensive wrestler in any of the previous positions for five continuous seconds, he would be awarded three match points. The official usually indicates the presence of such near-fall situations by making an angular sweep of his arm, with each sweep indicating one second of back exposure. The referee will not signal any match points until the near-fall situation is terminated.

Also note, a near-fall can still be awarded if both shoulders of the defensive wrestler remain partially in-bounds or just one shoulder is completely in-bounds.

The half-nelson, arm-bar series, cradle, and three-quarter nelson are common pinning situations that can score near-fall points as well as the pin or fall, concluding the match - which is next week's rules discussion.

Mini-Mat Quiz

Q: Utilizing a half nelson, Wrestler A forces Wrestler B to a high bridge on his head for four seconds before Wrestler B was able to turn over on his stomach. Then Wrestler A quickly caught Wrestler B in a cradle and placed him placed him in another near-fall situation for over five seconds before the end of the period buzzer sounded. How many near-fall points would Wrestler A receive?
A: Five match points. He would received two match points for the half nelson, which was held for less than five seconds. Then Wrestler A earned three match points for holding the cradle near-fall for five seconds before the period ran out.

OVAC Joe Thomas Wrestling Warrior

Coach Joe Thomas OVAC Wrestling Warrior of the Week is Weirton Madonna's Max Nogay. Max is only a freshman, but he was unanimously elected by his teammates as captain. As an eighth grader, Nogay had a record of 32-0 and was Ohio Valley Middle School Champion at the 122-pound weight class at Union Local.

Max Nogay was most recently the 135-pound champion at the Bellaire St. John's Irish Invitational and silver medallist at the Tyler Consolidated Wrestle-A-Bout Tournament. He presently boasts a 7-1 record on the season.

Congratulations are extended to Max Nogay - this week's OVAC Wrestling Warrior.

The Deaton-Regis Weekly Dual Meet Predictions

Larry Deaton and Jack Regis, two of the Valley's finest mat officials are competing with each other this season, picking the winners of selected weekly matches.

This week's dual meets featured matches are Brooke at Indian Creek (Wednesday) and John Marshall at Beaver Local (Saturday).

Deaton picks Brooke over Indian Creek 38-32 and John Marshall over Beaver Local 39-26. Regis calls Indian Creek the victor over Brooke 34-29 and Beaver Local over John Marshall 36-34.

Mat Message
"The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him his own."
-- Benjamin Disraeli

(Dr. Bill Welker can be reached via e-mail at: mattalkwv@hotmail.com)

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