West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker
National Wrestling Hall of Famer

Is technology hurting our children?

I believe so, especially in the area of physical activity. Today, more than ever before, there is a need for strong, well-funded physical education and sports programs in our schools. Adolescent obesity is rampant. And if you haven't figured out why, let yours truly make it simple for you: excessive use of computers, cell phones, video games - technology in general.

In essence, these kids are not doing anything physical. On the contrary, they're at home talking on the cell phone, playing virtual reality games, texting a friend, surfing the internet, while munching on junk food. It gives me the "twitters" to think what the adolescent obesity figures will be like regarding our next generation of teenagers.

One of my teaching colleagues laughingly said, "Just as we are to support 'No child left behind,' we should also promote 'No child with a big behind.'"

Please don't misunderstand me. Computers are a great resource for finding information immediately. They are also tremendous learning aids in the school environment. Notice I said "aids;" they will never replace the "humanistic" factor: The Classroom Teacher or Coach.

We all remember our favorite teachers and coaches who hugged us when we were sad or lost a big game, patted us on the back when we scored an "A" or the winning touchdown, and kicked us in the "derriere" when we were slacking in the classroom or on the field of play. Technology can never take the place of such wholesome "human interaction."

Now back to my original point. Parents, teachers and coaches, alike, must demand well-funded physical education and sports programs to offset the physical complacency that technology has bred in our youth. Of course, my sport is wrestling which produces the finest, most well-conditioned athletes you will ever find. But not every kid is meant to be a wrestler. Get them participating in athletics, be it basketball, football, baseball, softball, track, cross country, soccer, hockey, tennis, volleyball, cycling, swimming, lacrosse, rowing, dance, cheerleading, golf, etc. - any physical activity. There's a plethora of sports from which to choose. Surely, your child can find one to his or her liking.

Involvement is the key. Winning or losing is secondary to their physical development, which will produce healthy kids with longer life-expectancies.

Technology's "Wii" is not the answer to fitness; WE are - parents, teachers, and coaches - by enticing our children to turn off their computers and turn on to physical activity.

Of course, I would suggest wrestling.

The Takedown

The objective of wrestling is to pin one's opponent, and a takedown is usually the first step toward this goal. Statistics, for decades, demonstrate that the wrestler who successfully executives the first takedown in a match wins the bout 85 to 90 percent of the time.

What is a takedown?

To set up a takedown, the wrestlers must be working from the neutral or standing position, a situation where neither wrestler has control.

A takedown is scored when one of the wrestlers gains control over his opponent. The determining factor is causing his opponent's supporting points other than his feet - knees, thighs, buttocks, or hands - to come in contact with the mat under control beyond reaction time (as judged by the official).

Supporting points are defined as the area or areas in which most of the wrestler's body weight is carried.

A wrestler can be awarded a takedown as long as he or his adversary is in-bounds. Remember, the line around the wrestling area is out-of-bounds.

It is also important to understand that a takedown can now be awarded if the scoring wrestler's feet are in-bounds and touching the mat.

The wrestler who scores the takedown is awarded two match points for the maneuver. Note, the double-leg takedown, single-leg takedown, fireman's carry, arm drag, snap-down and pancake are just a few types of takedown moves.

Mini-Mat Quiz

Q: Wrestler A shoots a double-leg takedown on Wrestler B. At the completion of the takedown, Wrestler B is completely out-of-bounds and only Wrestler A's feet are in-bounds on the mat. Would Wrestler A still be credited with a takedown?
A: Yes. Since both of Wrestler A's feet remained in-bound, he is considered in-bounds and can score the takedown.

OVAC Joe Thomas Wrestling Warrior

Coach Joe Thomas OVAC Wrestling Warrior of the Week is Bellaire's senior standout Sam Faykus. A former Ohio state qualifier for the "Big Reds." Faykus has an overall record of 101-33. He reached the 100-win milestone at the Wheeling Park Duals.

As a junior, Sam Faykus wrestled at 135 pounds and won the East Liverpool and Shadyside Tournaments and placed 3rd at the Ron Mauck OVAC Wrestling Championships. Faykus finished the season with a runner-up finish at Sectionals. This season Sam is 16-0 at the 140-pound weight class, winning his division at the Wheeling Park Duals and being crowned champion at the Doan's Ford Invitational.

Congratulations are extended to Bellaire's Sam Faykus - this week's OVAC Wrestling Warrior!

The OVAC Mark Gerrity Wrestling Fans of the Week are Bellaire's RANDY AND KELLIE CANTER, the parents of last year's Ohio state runner-up Erik Canter. Dedicated to the "Big Red" wrestling program, they continue to follow the Bellaire wrestling at every event. Their daughter Taylor Canter is currently a freshman and statistician for the wrestling team.

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 Indian Creek at Brooke 5:00 p.m. (Wednesday) and Steubenville at Wheeling Park 6:00 p.m. (Thursday).

Deaton picks Brooke over Indian Creek 41-39 and Steubenville over Wheeling Park 42-27. Regis calls Indian Creek the victor over Brooke 36-29 and Wheeling Park over Steubenville 39-33.

Mat Message

"It's easy to make a buck. It's a lot tougher to make a difference."
-- Tom Brokaw

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

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