West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

You are not alone.

Sometimes we think that we are the only ones who are faced with unique problems or dilemmas - be it sports or life. Such "only me" thoughts are without question unfounded.

In reference to the mat sport, hopes and dreams vs. fear and doubts has always been part of a dedicated wrestler's psyche. The following true tale is just one account of what wrestlers must confront prior to a match. It was written by Shane Kammauff after he competed in the Virginia Freshman State Tournament last season.

The wrestler was preparing for the first match in the biggest tournament in which he had ever entered. He did not know much about his opponent, but what he saw of the young man standing on the other side of the mat started his mind racing. He had decided to go out and do his best. He began moving around and getting warmed up before the match.

The wrestler felt an uncertain sensation in his gut and a wave of doubt swept over him. Nevertheless, he resolved that he would put forth his best effort and prayed for the wrestler who was most worthy to claim victory. But again, his confidence was tested.

"Do I really belong here?" he wondered. "I did not win too many matches this year. These are the Virginia Freshman State Championships. The best wrestlers my age are here. Still, I will not have to worry about older opponents. Also, I have seven years of wrestling experience."

He knew he had worked hard to become the wrestler he was. However, the past high school season had damaged his confidence. He had struggled against less experienced wrestlers he felt he should have crushed. The thought of failure mad his heart race and his palms sweat. His stomach grew even uneasier and he started looking for a way out of the match.But that was when he decided he had gone too far with such thoughts.

The wrestler had prided himself for a long time in his determination to never give up. He was not about to just run away. He made up his mind he was going to wrestle honorably and do his best.

Still, there was a part of him that was desperate to avoid the inevitable physical pain that the sport of wrestling entails. The wrestler decided that this part of him was an obstacle only he could chose to overcome. He then realized that simply having the courage to go out on the mat and wrestle all-out was the only thing he needed to belong here. He realized he had the heart of a wrestler and deserved to be here. He felt a surge of warmth from within that gave him the strength he needed.

This personal epiphany renewed his spirit and enabled him to focus on the upcoming match. When the bout began, he was ready to wrestle. Once it had ended, he had been deemed worthy of victory.

In essence, a wrestler (and all athletes in general) must defeat two opponents if he expects to be victorious - first, himself and then, his adversary.

Escapes and Reversals

The wrestler in control or on top is referred to as the offensive wrestler while the wrestler on bottom is the defensive wrestler. Keep in mind, only the defensive wrestler can score an escape or reversal.

The Escape: For the bottom man to score an escape, he must place himself in the neutral position, causing his opponent to lose control. The defensive wrestler may also be awarded an escape going out-of-bounds if his adversary is in-bounds at the completion of the move. The official will indicate one point for the wrestler who earns an escape. The stand-up, forward or granby roll, sit-out turn-in or sit-out turn-out are examples of common escape maneuvers.

The Reversal: The defensive wrestler may procure a reversal by moving from the bottom position, gaining control of his opponent either on the mat or on their feet. Like the escape, a reversal can be obtained crossing the out-of-bounds line if one of the wrestlers is still in-bounds at the completion of the move. The official will indicate two points for a reversal. The switch, side roll, and Peterson roll are examples of common reversal maneuvers. Remember, one match point is given for an escape and two match points are awarded for a reversal.

Mini-Mat Quiz

Q: The bottom man maneuvers to his feet and executes a standing switch, spinning behind and controlling his opponent while both wrestlers were still on their feet. Would the bottom wrestler be credited with an escape or reversal.

A: The referee would award a two-point reversal because the bottom wrestler gained control of his opponent while they were both on their feet.

(Important Note: In the neutral position, if a wrestler employed a takedown move, maneuvering behind his adversary, he would have to bring his opponent to the mat for takedown points to be awarded. Why? It's the rule for takedowns. Go figure.)

OVAC Joe Thomas Wrestling Warrior

Coach Joe Thomas OVAC Wrestling Warrior of the Week is Brooke's Jim McFarland who is competing at 125 pounds.

Most recently, Jim placed fourth in the prestigious Brooke Classic. McFarland also was the champion in the Tyler Consolidated Wrestling Tournament. His present record is 9-2 for the 2005-06 wrestling season.

Last year, the Bruin's McFarland was champion in the Steubenville Kiwanis Tournament, and 3rd in both the Buckeye Local Classic and West Virgina regionals. Jim McFarland finished the year placing 6th in the states, with an overall record of 32-18.

Congratulations are extended to Jim McFarland - 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 Buckeye Local (Wednesday), Magnolia at River (Wednesday), and Oak Glen at Wheeling Park (Saturday).

Deaton picks Buckeye Local over Brooke 41-29, River over Magnolia 38-27, and Oak Glen over Wheeling Park 25-24.

Regis calls Brooke the victor over Buckeye Local 34-27, Magnolia over River 36-32, and Wheeling Park over Oak Glen 27-25.

Mat Announcement

On Saturday, January 7th at Bridge Street Middle School at 8:00 a.m., Dr. Bill Welker will conduct a one-hour clinic for Youth Coaches who teach wrestling to wrestlers ages 6 to 12 years old. All Valley Youth Wrestling Coaches are invited. Parents and other interested parties are invited to attend as well.

He will also distribute the following two handouts to all coaches at no cost:
1) Youth Wrestling Moves to Teach
2) Typical Youth Wrestling Practice Format

The handouts make reference to pertinent pages in The Wrestling Drill Book, which will be on sale for $18.00 after the clinic.

Mat Message
"The way to avoid roadblocks of learning is to ask questions."
-- Joseph J. Thomas

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