West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker, National Wrestling Hall of Famer
and Rick Welker


"Happy are those who are humble; they will receive what God has promised!"
- The Good News Bible Matthew 5:5

by Dr. Bill Welker

I have no respect for athletes and individuals that I have personally known (or watched on television), who were all about themselves regarding their successes in life.

As we reach the conclusion of another great wrestling season, it is my belief that all successful men and women have been blessed with "gifts" from the Supreme Being.

Don't get me wrong. Many people who have reached the pinnacle of their sport or profession worked very hard to become icons in their fields of endeavor. No question - they should be praised for their accomplishments in life. However, they shouldn't praise themselves. Allow me to explain.

We must first realize that perseverance, natural athletic talent and/or a superior IQ are "gifts" of birth. These are attributes that are part of one's physical and mental make-up. Thus, such people were destined to succeed if they nurtured their abilities to the fullest extent.

The bottom line is the fact that anytime we get full of ourselves we must have the maturity to realize it is truly a blessing or "gift" from God. I say this due to lifetime personal experiences.

There have been moments in my life when I was very proud of my accomplishments, whether it was in my profession as an educator or my involvement with the sport I love - wrestling. Yes, I was so impressed with myself. But that ended quickly.

It always seemed that the very next day I was confronted with a student or individual who was afflicted with a physical ailment or mental disability - and realized that I was blessed with a healthy body and mind. They taught me so much. Unfortunately, for some individuals who are publicly arrogant about their achievements, they have truly failed to comprehend that they were given an innate athletic or mental skill, a "gift," from above.

I know it was God who blessed me and my family - no matter what we were allowed to contribute in our lives.

Thank you, dear Heavenly Father, for giving each and every one of us, be it healthy bodies or wealthy minds, the opportunity to change people's lives for the better. In truth, we must use our God-given "gifts" to help others any time we can.

In closing, when you achieve success in life, have reverence, not arrogance, and you will definitely be blessed. There is a prayer that thanks God for our self's existence, our time on Earth, and our possessions, including unique abilities. Without His grace, we are or have nothing.

Mat Message

Talent is God-Given. - Be Humble.
Fame is Man-Given. - Be Grateful.
Conceit is Self-Given - Be Careful.
-- John Wooden

Unsportsmanlike Conduct (Coaches and Spectators)


No coach can be disrespectful during any wrestling competition. If so the referee would deduct one point from the violator's team score.

On the second offense, the perpetrator would be removed from the premises for the duration of the dual meet or the rest of that day of a tournament. Also, two more points would be deducted from his team's score.

Take note, when a coach's initial action is judged to be flagrant in nature, he would be expelled immediately - with the loss of three team points - for the duration of the dual meet or tournament.


No fan may react in an unsportsmanlike manner toward the referee or opposing coach or his team.

This unbecoming behavior will result in removal from the gym, field house or arena on the official's request for the remainder of the competition.

Important Point: Neither team would be penalized any points from the misbehavior of an overzealous spectator. Also, it is the responsibility of the home school's administrator's to remove the offender from the premises.

Mini-Mat Quiz

Q: A referee has been constantly harassed by a heckler in the front row of the home school's bleachers almost from the start of the dual meet. Finally, unable to put up with this unsportsmanlike behavior any longer, the referee stopped the match and asked the home school's athletic director to escort the spectator from the gymnasium. The visiting coach reminded the official that he must deduct team points from the home team for such poor behavior. Was the visiting coach right or wrong?
A: The coach was wrong. The removal of a spectator from the premises due to unsportsmanlike conduct has no effect on the score of either team.

Mat Message

"Your arrogance offends me."
- Bryan Mills
Actor: Liam Neeson
from Taken: The Movie

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