West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker
National Wrestling Hall of Famer

"Where there's rumor, there's always potential for the truth."
-- Anonymous

Coach Ara Parseghian retired in 1974 after 11 years at the helm of the University of Notre Dame's "Fighting Irish" football team. His record at the school was 95-17-4, including two national championship teams in 1966 and 1973. During Parseghian's final year with the school, he boasted a 10-2 record and the team was ranked 6th (AP) and 4th (UPI) nationwide at the end of the season.

Had Ara Parseghian coached two more years, he would have easily surpassed Knute Rockne's record at the institution. As of today, the Akron, Ohio native is still with us, and still dearly loves the "Irish." Conceivably, he could have coached many more years.

Since Ara Parseghian's retirement from Notre Dame, however, there has always been the rumor that Notre Dame's "powers to be" did not want Coach Parseghian (or any coach) breaking Knute Rockne's record of 105 victories, prior to his untimely death in 1931.

Just for argument's sake, let's say the ongoing rumor is based on fact. With such a premise, I think I can prove to all devoted "Irish" fans that someone surpassing Coach Rockne's record will in no way diminish his "magnificent effect" on the school's football-rich tradition.

To prove my point, I conducted experiments with several of my classes over the years. When we completed reading short stories of athletes and coaches breaking records in their respective sports, I began a discussion with my students by asking the following questions.

"How many students know who 'Babe Ruth' is?"

Never have there been students in any of my classes who didn't know the "Babe," and his significance to America's past time - baseball.

My follow-up questions were very simple: "Who broke Babe Ruth's home-run record for a single season?" And finally, "Who broke Babe Ruth's lifetime home-run record?

Over the years, maybe 4 or 5 dedicated students of the "diamond-field sport" knew the answer to one or both of the above queries. The rest of my students had no clue whatsoever.

I am sure you understand exactly what I have just proven. Quite simply stated, nobody is ever going to forget icons of any sport, especially Notre Dame's legendary trailblazing, football mentor and humanitarian - Knute Rockne!

In sum, should the Knute Rockne "coaching-record" rumor have any validity at all, keep in mind the following quote:

"Sports records are indeed meant to be broken. If not, why keep a record of them?
- Bill Welker
The Sudden Death Overtime Procedure

Whether the competition is a dual meet, tournament or any other multiple-team event, if there is a tie at the end of an individual match, we go immediately to sudden death to settle the issue.

Sudden death consists of a one-minute overtime period and, if necessary, a 30-second tiebreaker.

In the one-minute overtime period, the wrestlers start in the standing or neutral position. The wrestler who scores the first point(s) wins the match.

If no points are scored, the wrestlers go directly to two 30-second tiebreakers, which start in the referee's (or down) position. The referee flips the disk to see who has choice the first tiebreaker. Each of these two tiebreakers goes the entire 30 seconds.

If the score is tied after the first two tiebreakers, we proceed to the final "Ultimate Tiebreaker." At this point in the match, the wrestler who scored the first point(s) in the regulation match will be given the choice of up, down, or defer by the referee. If the match is scoreless, the referee will flip his disk to determine who gets the choice.

Should the top man ride out his opponent, he wins by the ride-out point (RO). If the bottom man scores an escape, reversal, or penalty point(s), he wins.

In my opinion, this is the best advancement in wrestling since I have been involved with the sport. Everyone understands sudden death, and it makes the sport even more exciting.

Min-Mat Quiz

Q: In the overtime period, Wrestler A scores a takedown but uses an illegal headlock to do so. Does Wrestler A win the match?

A: No. Wrestler B would win the match with the penalty point he received for Wrestler A's illegal headlock. You cannot score a takedown with an illegal hold.

OVAC Joe Thomas Wrestling Warrior

Coach Joe Thomas OVAC Wrestling Warrior of the Week is Barnesville's Curtis Jefferis.

This junior "Shamrock" wrestler won the highly-competitive Barnesville Invitational and was named the MVP at 152 pounds. Jefferis record this year is 6-0.

Last year, Curtis was 7th in the OVACs at 145 pounds. He was also 2nd at the Sheridan Invitational, the St. Clairsville Invitational, and 1st at the River Invitational. He finished the year 3rd at Sectional and 2nd at Districts, qualifying him for Ohio States with an over-all record of 32-10. As a freshman, Jefferis placed 5th in the OVACs at 140 pounds.

Veteran Shamrock wrestling coach Luke Johnson simply states, "Curtis has a tremendous desire to win and his constant improvement of wrestling technique demonstrates his determination to be a champion."

Congratulations are extended to Barnesville's Curtis Jefferis, this week's Joe Thomas 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 featured match on Tuesday is Cambridge at Harrison Central (6:00 pm.). Deaton picks Harrison Central over Cambridge 35-19 and Regis says the same with the score being 40-16.

OVAC Mark Gerrity Wrestling Fan of the Week

The OVAC Mark Gerrity Wrestling Fan of the Week is Barnesville's Robin Jefferis. She has totally dedicated herself to the Shamrock mat program. The coaching staff knows if there is something that must be done outside the wrestling room, Mrs. Jefferis will make it happen.

Congratulations, Robin Jefferis, this week's Mark Gerrity OVAC super wrestling fan.

Mat Message

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." - Knute Rockne

(Dr. Bill Welker can be reached via e-mail at: mattalkwv@hotmail.com)
Return to the West Virginia Mat Thoughts Index Page
Return to the WV-Mat front page