West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on a Message for Seniors

I would like to share the following commencement speech with senior wrestlers in the Mountain State. I believe it will inspire them to be the best that they can be, no matter the outcome of their efforts in athletics, academics, or life. So, carefully read and savor what Crystal Whitebread wrote for her graduating high school class.

"Well, the dream is no longer a dream; it's a reality. We've made it! But now we are faced with starting all over again. This time, however, it is not going to be easy. Nothing is merely going to be handed to us. We are going to have to set our goals and strive hard to reach them.

But we must be very careful because sometimes people can get too caught up with the importance of winning, and fear failure so much, that they lose all perspective and often give up before even trying. We, however, must remember that if we really try and persist, we will arrive at the destination we chose. And if we occasionally fall along the way, we will learn much more than if we don't.

Norman Lear (a success by anybody's standards) once said, 'It is not true that you must be No. 1 -- or in the top 10 -- or you haven't made it at all. Young people need to know that there is sufficient reward in life for succeeding simply at the level of doing one's best. The truth is, you are not a failure if you don't make the top spot. Anyone may reach for the brass ring, but only one may have it, so the joy for most of us is simply being able to ride on the carousel.'"

Good luck to all senior West virginia wrestlers, in the paths that you may choose for your future.

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Updated January 18, 1999