West Virginia Wrestling


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

"Ohio's Inaugural HOF Banquet"

by Dr. Bill Welker

This past September I had the privilege and honor to witness Ohio's charter class induction into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame at Columbus. I want to share with you the "words of wisdom" highlights each inductee had to offer.

Congressman Jim Jordan, a two-time NCAA DI national champ, spoke about the importance of coaches in one's life and how they promote "second effort" in a wrestler's training. He also appreciated the sacrifices his parents made and how his father always emphasized hard work.

Dustin Carter, a quad amputee, won more than 40 matches and qualified for the state championships his senior year. His presentation dealt with the fact that everyone should "strive to be remembered for something in their lives." He also pointed out that to be a success you must have a "positive mindset" in all your endeavors.

Dick Bonacci, the legendary coach at Cleveland State, had praises for the coaches' wives. They sacrifice so much in promoting their coaching spouse's work with young men on the mats.

Carl "Chris" Ford, a distinguished coach and official, stated that to be a successful person in life you must surround yourself with great people.

Harry Houska, Ohio University's NCAA DI champion and longtime coach at the school, stress that, be it coaching, teaching, or life, always treat everybody in a fair and equal manner.

Jim Humphrey, five-time national freestyle champion and World Silver Medalist, said to be the best you must seek the best competition. He also emphasized that wrestling teaches one to be responsible for his own actions.

Richard "Doc" Leffler, a two-time MAC champion at the University of Toledo and coach of two Toledo St. Francis state championship teams, pointed out that to succeed in life one must set long-term goals for themselves and strive to achieve them.

Finally, our own father of OVAC wrestling, the late George Kovalick was inducted into the Ohio Chapter of the Hall. His induction is unique indeed. Coach "K" is the only wrestling figure to be inducted into two state chapters. He is also a member of the West Virginia Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Olympian Bobby Douglas, who wrestled under Coach K, spoke on his behalf. Douglas stated Coach Kovalick believed in promoting high ideals and stressing the importance of developing good character. I hope you got as much out of the above success stories as I did. We can all learn to be the best from the very best!

The Fall

The fall (or pin) terminates the match and no individual match points are necessary. In a dual meet, the winner's team receives six points and during tournament action the victor's team receives two additional points.

A fall occurs when both shoulders are forced to the mat for a period of two seconds in high school and one second in college bouts.

Normally, the offensive wrestler (the man in control) scores the fall but if the offensive wrestler's shoulders are somehow forced to the mat for the required time, his opponent would win with a defensive fall. It's rare, but it does happen.

A fall may be indicated when parts of both shoulders are in-bounds, or one shoulder is completely in-bounds.

Mini-Mat Quiz

Q: Wrestler A, the offensive wrestler, catches Wrestler A in a cradle pinning combination. However, as Wrestler B attempts to fight off his back, Wrestler A rolls completely out-of-bounds. Only the tops of Wrestler B's shoulders remain in-bounds on the mat. What's the call?
If Wrestler B was held in that position for the required time, Wrestler A would secure a fall. The match would not be stopped because Wrestler B's shoulders (now considered his supporting points) are in-bounds.

Mat Message

"Everything comes to he who hustles while he waits."
- Thomas A. Edison

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

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