West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on Being a Wrestler of Character

Although every wrestler wants to be a champion, I believe that there are two more honors that should also be highly cherished -- "The most improved Wrestler and Sportsmanship Awards."

The most improved wrestler on any team has demonstrated that he is willing to make many sacrifices to better himself. Oh, by the end of the season, he may not be nearly as good as the best wrestler on the squad, but his dedication for improvement is second to none. Even champions are wary of such persevering competitors. They realize that they must keep on their toes, or the most improved wrestler just might soon be taking their place on the victor's stand.

The athlete who receives a sportsmanship trophy can also be very pleased with himself. This individual has gained the respect of his coaches and peers by displaying mature behavior, both on and off the field of competition.

Personally, I think we have far too many outstanding (but childish) athletes in the professional ranks. They, too, could learn from the youthful competitor whose character emanates the essence of sincere dedication and sportsmanship ideals.

To my way of thinking, any parent should feel very proud if his or her son is named "The Most Improved Wrestler" or receives "The Sportsmanship Award!"

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Updated December 16, 1998