West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

Chick LaMotte

Today I have the extreme pleasure to honor an area coach who I have known for over three decades. Like yours truly, this man has dedicated his adult life to the promotion of wrestling as a mat mentor. His name is Andrew "Chick" LaMotte, III. And in the Ohio Valley when you think LaMotte, you think wrestling. Allow me to tell you his story.

To begin with, Chick LaMotte, a 1965 graduate of Bridgeport High School was an outstanding wrestler. He was a two-time OVAC and two-time Ohio District Champion.

In the 80s, Chick assisted his brother Dave LaMotte at Bridgeport High School. Dave's wrestling impressive credentials included Ohio All-State honors as a scholastic performer and being crowned West Liberty State College's first national champion. Together they developed a wrestling program for the "Bulldogs" that was second to none. In fact their 1988 team won the Ohio III State Championship. But then Dave moved out of the area.

Coach Chick LaMotte went on to develop teams at Bellaire and Bellaire St. Johns, and kept the winning streak going. During his years with the "Irish," Coach LaMotte produced four OVAC Champions, including 24 place winners. Moreover, Chick LaMotte mentored two Ohio State Champions, along with 16 state place winners. His most recent state champ was Joey Skoff, a member of the Kosky family, another name very familiar to Ohio Valley wrestling enthusiasts for over three decades. Joey states, "We affectionately dub Coach LaMotte as 'The Man' out of our deep respect for him as person and a teacher of wrestling."

His teams at St. Johns were OVAC A Champs in 2004 and 2006. They were 2006 OVAC Dual Meet Champions. For his efforts, Chick LaMotte was selected as the OVAC A coach of the year in 2006. His 2004 squad won the district championship and Coach LaMotte was named the Eastern District Coach of the Year. His final year as coach at St. Johns, Coach LaMotte was honored by the East Southeast Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association with the Exemplary Service Award in 2007.

Coach LaMotte decided to retire at the end of the 2006-2007. However, that was not to be. He learned that Wheeling Central Catholic High School was in need of a coach. LaMotte was asked to coach them this year. The answer was yes and this year Coach LaMotte is back at it mentoring the "Maroon Knight" grapplers. Yes, he loves the sport of wrestling, and its competitors. How could he let them down. So the beat goes on.

But there's more to this unique and complex individual. Chick LaMotte was also dedicated in another area, service to his country. A Vietnam veteran, Sgt. LaMotte was awarded the Purple Heart, two Campaign Ribbons, the National Defense Ribbon, the Combat Action Ribbon, and the Good Conduct Award. His courage under fire is nonpareil.

Chick LaMotte has been married to his lovely wife Joyce for 41 years. They have two children: Mrs. LaNette Krob and Chick LaMotte, IV. Like his father before him, Chick is also protecting our country. Presently, he is serving his second tour of duty in Iraq as a combat engineer. Chick and Joyce have five grandchildren: Amber, Haleigh, Andrew, Madison, and Shane.

Not only is Coach Chick LaMotte an outstanding builder of young men on the mats, he is also loved by the boys he coached over the years - and is truly American hero. I am proud that Chick LaMotte calls me a friend.

Technical Violations (Part Two)

The are seven technical violations in wrestling. Today we will discuss the last four technical violations. All but one technical violation (Incorrect Starting Position or False Starts) are penalized via the progressive penalty chart in the following manner:
" First Offense: One match point for the opponent
" Second Offense: One match point for the opponent
" Third Offense: Two Match points for the opponent
" Fourth Offense: Disqualification

Let's now take a look at the last four technical violations: Interlocking or Overlapping Hands, Figure Four Head Scissors in the Neutral Position, Reporting to the Mat Not Ready to Wrestle, and the Incorrect Starting Position or False Start.

Interlocking or Overlapping Hands
The top or offensive wrestler can only lock hands around his opponent's body or both legs when he is scoring near-fall points, or his opponent stands up with all his weight on his feet. Now should the defensive or bottom man score points while the top man commits this technical violation, he would receive all the points he scored plus a penalty point(s) for the violation.

Note, the official can only stop the match if he feels the bottom man can not score escape or reversal points due to the interlocking or overlapping hands technical violation.

Figure Four Head Scissors in the Neutral Position
The figure four head scissors is a technical violation in the neutral position when applied to stop his opponent from scoring a takedown. The referee-protocol for this infraction would be the same as the interlocking or overlapping hands technical violation.

Reporting to the Mat Not Ready to Wrestle
A wrestler must be properly attired and ready to wrestle when call to the mat by the official, or he will be penalized with a technical violation. He also loses one of his two time-outs. If he cannot rectify the problem regarding his attire within the one minute and thirty required or his opponent wins by default.

Incorrect Starting Position or False Start
It is a technical violation for a wrestler to assume an incorrect starting position in the neutral or referee's position. The also includes false starts in both positions. Note, unlike the other six technical violations, the first two incidents in this category are merely cautioned (the referee forms a "C" with his hand). The penalty is enforced on the third incident. Furthermore, this is the only technical violation that is not included in the progressive penalty. One penalty point is always awarded for this technical violation, no matter how often it occurs in a match.

Mini-Mat Quiz
Q: At the start of the match with no score, Wrestler A applies a figure four head scissors to stop Wrestler B from taking him down. Wrestler B does score the takedown. How many points will Wrestler B be awarded?
A: Wrestler B would earn three match points - two for the takedown and one for the technical violation.

Mat Message
"Just when you think you graduated from the school of experience, someone thinks up a new course."
-- Mary H. Waldrip

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