West Virginia Wrestling


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

"A Letter to My Coach"
by Ricky Welker

Dear Coach Edward "Buzz" Evans,

Congratulations on your induction to the West Virginia Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. I know it is a great honor bestowed upon you and one that is well deserved.

It is apparent what you have done for us while you were guiding us on the mats, but what you did for us in life is what we appreciate and remember the most. We thank you for demanding of us the very best that we had in us, and being there with a shoulder when we failed. You did not let us quit when things were not going well and you shaped us into a team that no matter what we thought of each other personally, while in the wrestling room we were a family.

You punished us when it was necessary and rewarded us when it was deserved. You put up with all of the nonsense that we could throw at you and you loved us for being who we were. You allowed our personalities to show on and off of the mat, and you stood by us during the good and the bad times.

It is because of what you taught us in that little room that was extremely hot in a high school on a hill that we became all that we could. That room that you commanded not only produced champions but also Doctors, dentists, teachers, a Bronze Star Recipient and one Marine Drill Instructor. You were not only a coach but a father figure to many and for that we thank you.

Once again Coach, thank you for continuing to be there when we need you and thanks for not only teaching us about wrestling but more importantly how to live.

Congratulations again!
Your Wheeling Park Wrestlers

Afterthoughts: Edward "Buzz" Evans guided the "Patriot" wrestlers of Wheeling Park to two State Championship team titles and produced many individual champions. His guidance is felt throughout youth, middle school and high school wrestling through his wrestlers, who now continued what he taught them as coaches and officials.

While travelling with Buzz Evans as a fellow official, I asked him about being inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. He told me that although he is proud of the honor, he was more proud of the fact that the kids he coached are now his friends. That ladies and gentlemen is a man of true character that gets it. He understands that his actions were going to affect his wrestlers for the rest of their lives.

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

"Be careful of your thoughts; they may become words at any moment."
-- Iara Gassen

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

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