West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

"Other people may not have had high expectations for me . . . but I had high expectations for myself."
- Shannon Miller

This quote had a message for one former wrestler who was asked during an interview, "What did the sport of wrestling teach you?"

Before answering the question, the man in question talked about different unfortunate experiences in his life, explaining that most were self-inflicted. He began:

As a youngster in elementary school, I was not the most well-behaved student. In fact, my second grade teacher stated on one report card, in reference to discipline in the classroom, 'He annoys me.'

I also visited the principal's office many times during those formative years, where I received my share of whacks on the backside. All well deserved.

Secondary school wasn't much better. I was kicked out of eighth grade chorus for excessive talking. As a percussionist in the high school band, I listened to the beat of a different drummer.

By my sophomore year, I was expelled from the band for arriving late at parades and missing change-of-direction cues on the gridiron during halftime performances. My career in the performing arts was short-lived.

As a junior, things didn't get much better. As a member of the Key Club, I was removed for missing too many meetings. And my senior year I was caught playing hookie by none other than my principal. Needless to say, I was a regular in the detention room.

I graduated in the top 50% of my class, but thanks to wrestling I acquired an athletic scholarship to college. It included one caveat; I was accepted, but on probation. I had to earn at least a 2.0 my first semester, or good-bye.

When my high school guidance counselor heard I was accepted to college, he remarked, 'You won't make it through the first semester.' Not the best send-off I was hoping for.

Since I was an athlete, I chose Physical Education as my major, and my first semester grade point average was a whopping 2.14. I was elated! In college, I realized it was time to buckle down and learn how to study since it never crossed my mind in high school.

Still, my troubles were not over. I failed French my sophomore year, and during student teaching my last semester in college, one supervising teacher predicted I wouldn't last a year in the field of education. More words of inspiration.

But I graduated, thank goodness!

Now guess who needed a new wrestling coach, my high school alma mater. So I applied for the position with the high hopes of showing everybody in my hometown I was a new person. But the superintendent had no such plans for me. Remember, the principal who caught me playing hookie; well, he was now the superintendent and the job was offered to someone else. I wonder why.

I was reminded of a quote from Shakespeare, " . . . the evil that men do lives after them." See, I told you I learned to study in college.

So I moved here, was befriended by people who believed in me, and never looked back.

Now my answer to your original statement should make much more sense. What have I learned from wrestling? Well, I can sum it up in one word: PERSEVERANCE!

This question was posed at a recent wrestling clinic. The interviewer ended the conversation by concluding, "Thank you very much for that in depth explanation and have a great day, DR. WELKER."
Unnecessary Roughness
Any intentional act that is hazardous to an opponent's physical well being is considered unnecessary roughness. Furthermore, if a hold is utilized for the sole purpose of punishment alone, the referee may see fit to declare unnecessary roughness.

Such offenses as striking, pushing, shoving, a swinging crossface, elbowing, and forceful tripping are just some examples of this infraction.

The normal progression of penalties is as follows:
" 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

Please note, if an official believes the infraction to be totally inexcusable, he can invoke the "flagrant misconduct" rule.

The flagrant misconduct results in the immediate and automatic disqualification of the wrestler. He is penalized three team points and if it is in a tournament, he losses all team points scored in the event, including placement points.

Certainly, a sucker punch to the jaw or head butt would come under the flagrant misconduct category.

Mini-Mat Quiz
Q: Wrestler A shoots a hard double-leg, causing Wrestler B to hit his head on the mat forcefully when taken down. The match had to be stopped to check on Wrestler B's physical well being. Would this be considered unnecessary roughness on the part of Wrestler A?
A: Wrestler A would not be penalized for unnecessary roughness. A hard double-leg takedown is a perfectly legal maneuver, similar to a hard tackle in football.

OVAC Joe Thomas Wrestling Warrior
Coach Joe Thomas OVAC Wrestling Warrior of the Week is John Marshall's 145-pounder Brandon Richey. Brandon placed 2nd in both the Regional and State Tournaments as a junior last year.

This year, Richey was a Brooke Classic Champion, Meadowbrook Duals undefeated competitor and the prestigious OVAC Tournament Champion in the 145-pound weight class. Brandon now has a season record of 35-3 and an overall high school record of 98-30.

Congratulations are extended to John Marshall's Brandon Richey - 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 Parkersburg South at John Marshall (Wed.) and Oak Glen at East Liverpool (Wed.).

Deaton picks Parkersburg South over John Marshall 38-27 and Oak Glen over East Liverpool 43-18.

Regis calls Parkersburg South over John Marshall 40-19 and Oak Glen over East Liverpool 38-15.

Mat Message

"Throw your heart over the fence and the rest will follow."
-- Norman Vincent Peale

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