West Virginia Wrestling


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

…on the Love of a Wrestler's Mother

By Dr. Bill Welker

There is no greater loss than one's mother. I lost mine last June 4th. She (Dorothy "Dot" Irene Welker) was 94 years old. It was very traumatic to me. Let me share with you my thoughts on Mom.

I was born on April 26, 1947 to parents who went through the Great Depression. They were people who believed in the philosophy that if you work hard, you can succeed in life. They were right.

My father, William Howard Welker, passed away in February 1998. It was a great loss to my older brother Floyd and me. Dad taught us about life and the importance of an education. What great wisdom, coming from a cigar store owner. We deeply mourned his death and respected his teachings. But still we had Mom to console, and a home to go to.

Mom taught us about moral living and believing in God. Whenever we failed, we thought about what Mom taught us. She always instructed us to stay on the right path.

Regarding sports and wrestling in particular, Mom always taught us to pray in the following manner. Pray to do your best and that you and your opponent are not harmed in any way. She also stressed that we should never pray to win because God loves both us and all our opponents. HE plays no favorites.

One of the cutest things Mom always said had to do with Floyd's and my scholastic wrestling careers. She stated she was always pleased that both Floyd and I had the same records in that we were state champs and state runner-ups. God was with her. Floyd and I often kidded - "Heck, I wanted that second title even if you didn't get it." Mom, obviously, had the last word. How can you compete with her connection with the Supreme Being?

Now Mom has passed. Floyd and I were devastated. We thought Mom would live forever. She and Dad were the best parents any child could ever ask for in life. I think the most shocking reality to Floyd and me is we no longer have a homestead in which we can go. It's like our childhood home is gone.

Fortunately, Floyd and I have such wonderful childhood memories that we can cherish for the rest of our lives. Mom and Dad were the best parents who anyone could ever ask for growing up.

My only wish is that every child could be blessed with the same wonderful parents that Floyd and I were given.

Thank you, God.


The top wrestler can indicate the neutral signal, raising both of his arms, anytime wrestling action has stopped. This means that he is willing to give his opponent an escape point, rather than trying to ride him. At this point, wrestling will continue in the neutral position.

Mini-Mat Quiz

Q: Wrestler A asks to take the optional offensive starting position after he and his opponent go out of bounds. The official informs him that since he can now give his opponent an escape rather than trying to ride him, the optional offensive starting position is no longer an option. Is the official correct?
A: Absolutely, not. A wrestler can still use the optional offensive starting position because some wrestlers use it to start their unique riding strategies.

Mat Message

"Mothers are the most instinctive philosophers."
-- Harriet Beecher Stowe

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

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