West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... On Grappling with Pain

I always enjoy relating tales of sportsmanship or ancedotes that emphasize individual perseverance. Well, today you get two for the price of one.

A few weeks ago I was officiating a championship match in a conference meet. During the course of the bout, Wrestler A committed a very hard illegal slam, which I penalized and vicariously felt myself.

To my chagrin, Wrestler A’s coach started to protest the call, but I explained to him the futility of his argument. (In all honesty, when yours truly indicates a slam, you can believe it. I have a deep understanding of the difference between aggressive wrestling and physical malfeasance.)

A point of fact, Wrestler B was truly hurting. I wouldn’t have blamed him if he decided not to continue, and winning due to the illegal act. Here’s where the sportsmanship and determination began.

After using up approximately one minute and 45 seconds of his 2-minute recovery time, Wrestler B’s coach simply asked him if he felt he could go. The wrestler’s emphatic response was Yes! I was impressed with his fortitude because I think he wanted to make a statement. Let me explain.

At the time Wrestler B was slammed, he was winning by a score of 1-0 due to an escape in the beginning of the second period. The slam occurred at the climax of the period, making the score 2-0 in his favor.

Knowing that his opponent had the choice, Wrestler B was determined to demonstrate that he was truly the one who should be crowned the champion.

As expected, Wrestler A chose the bottom position at the start of the final stanza of the bout. He fully anticipated scoring. Unfortunately for Wrestler A, he didn’t count on the tenacity of Wrestler B.

The entire third period was comprised of Wrestler A manifesting a fine riding exhibition. No matter what escape or reversal manuever that Wrestler A attempted, Wrestler B was able to fend off all his scoring endeavors. The match concluded with Wrestler B winning by a 2-0 verdict. What moxie!

Wrestler B could have easily concluded the bout by not continuing after his injury, and nobody would have blinked an eye -- having witnessed the slam. Instead he wanted to determine his own destiny regarding the outcome of the championship match.

I was very impressed. It renewed my faith in the strength of America’s youth, especially in a contemporary society diluted with excuse-making and prevaricating under the guise of political correctness.

What a breath of fresh air!

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