West Virginia Wrestling
Dr. Bill Welker
110 North Huron Street
Wheeling, West Virginia 26003
email mattalkwv@hotmail.com

West Virginia Mat Thoughts

by Dr. Bill Welker and Ricky Welker
Dedicated to the late Mark J. Gerrity
USMC Vietnam Veteran
2000 PA's District IV Hall of Fame Inductee
"Semper Fi" Forever

An archive of selected wrestling-season articles from Bill Welker's weekly Mat Talk series.

"The oldest high school wrestling column in the state - 'MAT TALK' - made its debut in the Sunday News-Register in 1978 . . ."
Don Clegg
Executive Sports Editor
Wheeling News-Register and Intelligencer

Dr. Bill Welker is well known to West Virginia Wrestling fans. Dr. Welker is a former Pennsylvania State Champion. A nationally recognized wrestling sportswriter and official, Bill Welker was selected as the "2002 National Wrestling Official of the Year" by Wrestling USA Magazine. Dr. Welker was WVSSAC Rules Interpreter and Clinician from 1989 until 2017. He also served on the NFHS National Wrestling Rules Committee from 2012 until 2015.

We will be adding wrestling articles to this archive on a regular basis -- check back often!

You may also be interested in browsing through a collection of articles written by Dr. Welker relating to the art and science of education. You may follow this link to "Parent Teaching Tips," an extensive collection of articles which may be of interest to students and parents alike.

(Author's Note: All the "West Virginia Mat Thoughts" articles on this webpage are in their original -- first draft -- form prior to correcting typographical errors for publication in newspapers and wrestling periodicals over the years.)

The Sparrow's Spirit, by Dr. Bill Welker, Ed.D.
A Champion Wrestler's Lifetime Reflections on Prayer and Perseverance

Available on-line from the publishing company RoseDog Books through its online bookstore.

Also available on-line at amazon.com

Publication Notes

The Wrestling Drill Book, 2nd Edition, edited and authored by Dr. Bill Welker
with contributions by Jim Akerly, Bill Archer, Dave Lamotte, Pat Pecora, Edwin C. Peery, Bruce Burnett, Larry Shaw, Ken L. Taylor, and Craig Turnbull.

Available on-line from the publishing company, Human Kinetics, or through book stores nationwide.

Also available at amazon.com

Bill Welker's Pancake Takedown Series.
Available for mini-clinic demonstration
FOLLOW THIS LINK for details

2018-19 Season

Quotes, Notes, and Anecdotes II

Quotes, Notes, and Anecdotes I

Tim Flynn, Head Wrestling Coach, West Virginia University

2017-18 Season


Riding Time And Those Very Underrated Traditional Wrestling Skills

Award Winner

The Weigh-Out Procedure in Wrestling Promotes Yo-Yo Dieting

Welker's Wonerful World of Words to the Wise

2016-17 Season

Making Weight
2016 OVAC Mr. Mat - Jim Crosier

The Mat Thoughts archive ...
2015 OVAC Wrestlers of the Year
Best of West Virginia Mat Thoughts
...on Home-Grown Athletes
...on One Official's Confessions
... on the Day I was Beaten Up on the Mat
... on the "Top Five" Excuses in Wrestling
Preparing for Life
Keeping Cool, Trash Talk
... Losing
On the importance of the Assistant Coach
Good and Bad Breaks || Injustice
Motivation / Music
... Officials
... Father's Advice || Tips for Coaches
... Sacrifice || Making a Champion
... Coaches, Officials
... On Excuses and Apologies
... On Wrestling with Courage
Tips for parents, Booster Organizations
2014 OVAC Wrestlers of the Year
Off-Season Activities, Part 2
Off-Season Activities, Part 1
Daily Practice Lesson Plan Models
Kirk Moore, Jr., "A Braveheart of the Mats"
Evaluating Practices
Specialized Wrestling Workouts -- Part Two
Specialized Wrestling Workouts -- Part One
Practice Wrestle-Offs and the Importance of Group Work
Varsity & Junior Varsity Groups and Dealing with Late Arrivals to the Practice Room
On Teaching New Moves, Combating Staleness, and Promoting Cooperation & Competition in the Practice Room
On Practice Organization
The Champion vs the Winner
Movie Review: Takedowns and Falls
Movie Review: The Hardest Six
Movie Review: Pinned - The Movie
Ron Mauck - Wrestling USA Man of the Year
Intercepted Memo: The Passion of Wrestling
Just Don't Defer
Just for Today
The Welkers of Shamokin
Wrestling Coaches Handbook
Who's to Blame for Fat Kids
...on Arrogance
2012 OVAC Wrestlers of the Year
Proper Reporting to the Score Table in Dual Meets
Ethics in Wrestling
New Weight Classifications
Movie/DVD Review: The Hammer
Individual Tournaments vs. Team-Formatted Tournaments
…on Youth Coaches Learning the Rules
The Champion vs the Winner
Coach Misconduct vs Unsportsmanlike Conduct
Flagrant Misconduct
Mixed Martial Arts and Wrestling
Communicable Diseases, Part 2
Communicable Diseases, Part 1
On the Love of a Wrestler's Mother
Goodbye my Friend
An Open Letter to an Aspiring Wrestling Official
A Parents' Open Letter of Their Son's Courage
What about an ultimate West Virginia State Champion?
The Technical Violation Rule
West Virginia Middle School State Tournament
Ohio's Hall of Fame Banquet
Weight Class Eligibility: Revisited - Part 2
Weight Class Eligibility: Revisited - Part 1
A Letter to My Coach
Scholastic Wrestling is NOT a Submission Sport
Is That Really a Rule?
Emil Nardone: A Man of Courage
Middle School or Club Wrestling?
A New Era...
Evans and Shaw Elected
Welker To Be Inducted Into The Pennsylvania Wrestling Hall of Fame
The Snyder-Miller Media Award
2010 Final Notes
The Legendary Coach Larry Shaw
"Behind the Scenes"
Club Wrestling
Memories and Advice from a Former Wrestler, Part 2
Memories and Advice from a Former Wrestler, Part 1
2010 Mr Mat -- Jeff Carroll
Figure Four
Youth Wrestling Coaches: An Official's Perspective
Park Duals
Bob Mendenhall - THE MAN
Crowd Control
The 32nd year
Teacher of the Year Award
School Wrestling vs Club Wrestling
2009 OVAC Ohio and West Virginia Wrestlers of the Year
Jim Copney
Eighth Place
Tournaments vs Duals
Book Review: Wrestling Spoken Here
Weight Class Eligibility
2009 OVAC Official of the Year - Larry Deaton, Martins Ferry, Ohio
Shaking Hands
2009 Mr. Mat Paul "Bud" Billiard Wrestling with Injuries, Revisited
Youth Wrestling Tournaments and Those Marvelous Trophies
"A man's got to know his limitations"
Hall of Fame
Larry Shaw - 2008 Coach of the Year
2008 Mr Mat Honoree - Jim Potts
Douglas and Nance Honored
2008 Awards
The Struggle is the Glory
Chick LaMotte
Shay's Day
Full Circle
The Perfect Wrestler (Part II)
The Perfect Wrestler (Part I)
Sleeping the Sport
Making Weight
Qualities of a Great Wrestling Official
A Christmas Gift
Professional Wrestling
. . on Shaking Hands - A Dilemma in Wrestling: Revisited
2007 OVAC Wrestlers of the Year
...for the love of a coach
Wrestling in the Real World (part two)
Wrestling in the Real World (part one)
Sport Fan
What Has Wrestling Taught
The 2007 Mr Mat Award -- Rick Link
A True Blessing in Disguise
The Red Marble
The Making of a Great Official
Dirk Bauer All American
On-line Officiating Course in preparation...
2006 WV/OH OVAC Wrestlers of the Year
Off Season Activities - Part Two
Off Season Activities - Part One
Coach Nardone
The Slam
Bill Van Horne
...Flagrant Misconduct
2006 OVAC Mr Mat Award Winner
The Wrong Number
The Perfect Stall
Not Alone
The Angel and the Four Seekers
The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee
Shaking Hands -- A Dilemma
Book Review
...Mat Talk Awards
...Ten Notable Quotes
... on Building a Child's Character
...on a Brighter Future
... on Fear
A Great Journey
Wrestling Drill Book
Down But Not Out
...on Fair Play
...on Taking Risks
... on the Olympics
... Christmas Thoughts
... On Bobby Douglas, I
... On Bobby Douglas, II
2003-04 OVAC Ohio and West Virginia Wrestlers of the Year
2004 Frequently Asked Questions
The Champ
On Life's Regrets
West Virginia Chapter, National Wrestling Hall of Fame
On Wrestling, Discipline, and Loyalty
Confessions of a Wrestling Official (Part 2)
Confessions of a Wrestling Official (Part 1)
Sportsmanship and Character
Another Personal Hero
On Corporal Punishment
A Christmas Blessing
OVERTIME: Where Have We Been - Where Are We Going (Part II)
OVERTIME: Where Have We Been - Where Are We Going (Part 1)
A Tribute to Joe Thomas
The New Tie Breaker System for Dual Meets
On the use of assistant officials at the WV State Tournament
Novel Approaches for the 30 second tiebreaker
Roy Michael - "A Legendary Master of the Mats"
On Officials and Stalling
on Being too Proud
on True Friendship
on Club vs. School Wrestling Programs
on Youth Coaches with the Right Philosophy
on a "Mother's Love"
on the "Me" in team
on "Home Schooling"
on the 25th Anniversary of "Mat Talk"
The Recruitment and Retention of New Wrestling Officials
...On the Wrestling Official
...on the New "Tiebreaker Choice" Rule
...on the Importance of Dual Meets
...on the "Drill Work" at Practice
...on the Unusual Wrestling Rules
... On the West Virginia Sock Rule
... On a Profile in Courage
...On Selecting Officials for the State Tournament
...On Home Grown Athletes
...on the "Body Leg Scissors"
The Wrestler's Creed
The Champion's Champion
The Wrestling Coach
The Wrestling Parent
The Wrestling Official
New Mat Rules Include Some "Weighty" Issues
The Stall Procedue Revised - Questionnaire and Analysis
... on Wrestling and Physical Toughness
...on the Power of Prayer
... on a Sport Custom-Made for Small Sportsmen
... on True Heroes
...On the Physical Condition of Referees
... on Understanding "Bad Time"
Winning with Grace
Learning at Practice and in the Classroom
Weight Management: A Must for our Wrestlers, Part 1
Weight Management: A Must for our Wrestlers, Part 2
... on Wrestling Recommendation and Rule
... on Improving the tiebreaker for our wrestlers
... on The Match of the Millennium
... on Wrestlers and the True Meaning of Christmas
... on Grappling with Pain
... On Wrestling Officials' Spouses
... On A Day of Dejection and Ejection
Archive - West Virginia's Stall Procedure, Final Analysis (archive)
... on Yesterday's vs. Today's State Champions
... on The Power of Perseverance
... on How to Build Confidence
... on the WV Controversy regarding Coaches Rating Officials
... on Comical Rules Experiences
... on One Wrestler’s Journey to Manhood
... on One Dedicated Coach’s Dream Come True
... on Over-Indulgence and Paying the Price
... on How Other Sports Could Learn From Wrestling
Success by Association: One Wrestler's Story
...on My First Experience with Parent-Coaches
... on Athletics, Parents, and Education
Tribute to Warren Carter
... on the Personal Priorities of a Wrestling Interpreter
... on "Stealing Dreams" (Revisited)
... On Professional Rassling
... On Failing to Accept
... on Humility
... on Arrogance
... American Schools: The Scapegoat for a Society of Excuses
... on Conducting a Successful Youth Tournament
... on the Innocence of Youth
... on Paralysis by Analysis
Amy Alvero - All American
... on the Comradeship of Mountain State Officials and Coaches
... on a Letter to an Official-Father
... on the West Virginia "Sock Rule"
... on a Unique Assistant Coach
... on the Jurisdiction of Officials
... on Knowing When to Change Goals
... on Natural Talent
... on Wrestling Setbacks and Life
... on Thinking Positive
... on Wrestlers and Their Love for the Sport
... on the Football-Wrestling Connection
... on Thoughts for Staying Humble
... on Official Errors
... on My Father's Doubts
... on Persistence
... on Criticism and Winning Coaches
... on the Importance of Every Practice
... on Remembering Great Coaches
... on a Message for Seniors
... on Wrestling and Pain
... on the Wrestling Coach's Wife
... on the "No. 1" Motivator
... on Wrestling Yourself
... on Humor in Wrestling
... on Folk-Style Wrestling, A Dying Sport
... on Success as a Coach
... on Excuses vs. Apologies
... on Being a Wrestler of Character
... on Tips for the Wrestling Parent
... on Booster Organizations
... on Anything Can Happen
... on Memories Lost
... on Making Excuses, Part V
... on Making Excuses, Part IV
... on Making Excuses, Part III
... on Making Excuses, Part II
... on Making Excuses, Part I
... on Practice Innovations
... on Athletic Desire
... on Arrogance in Officiating
... on Tips for Head Wrestling Coaches
... on Finishing What You Start
... on a Father's Advice to his Son
... on Weight Reduction
... on the Importance of the Assistant Coach
... on Picking the Outstanding Wrestler
... on Wrestling and Humility
... on the Championship Wrestler
... on Off-Season Activities for Wrestlers
... on Wrestling, Life and Fairness
... On Amy Alvaro: WV Wrestrling's First Female State Qualifier
... On Wrestling with Courage
...on Sacrifice: Is it Good or Bad? -- Your Call
... on Sharing Mat Knowledge
... on Unsportsmanlike Conduct
... on Your Wrestler and Dieting Properly
Wrestling with Life and Winning: A Tribute to Great Fathers
... on "The Emperor Moth and Struggle"
... on "The Wrestling Official's Power"
... on Andy Cross's National Record
... on Wrestling Coaches and the Press
... on Better Relationships between Coaches and Officials
... on Dual Meet Tiebreakers
... on Wrestling to Music
... on John Irving: An Author's Love for Wrestling
... on Wrestling's Delayed Calls
... on the Official's Responsibility to Sportsmanship
... on the Most Important Loss of My Life
... on Wrestling with Injuries
... on the Master Coach
... on Wrestling with Stress
... on a Personal Perspective on Stalling
... on True Coaching
... on Talking Trash in Wrestling
... on Keeping Your Cool in Wrestling
... on Creativity in Wrestling
... on Certain Injuries in Wrestling
... on the Fear of Making Mistakes
... on College Athletes
... on The Promotion of Wrestling in the Mountain State
... on Endurance on the Mats
... on Wrestling Officials
... on Wrestling Parents
... on Amateur vs. Professional Wrestling
... on Smallfry Wrestling
... on Fan Sportsmanship
... on Back-To-Basics
... on the Benefits of Wrestling for Football Players
... on the Proper Diet and Family Support
... on Competition and Cooperation
... on Wrestling as a Team Sport
... on Wrestling and Mutual Respect
... on Wrestling and the Team Manager
... on Wrestling and Cheerleaders
... on Wrestling and Hard Work
... on Wrestling and the Integrity of Officials
... on Wrestling and the Junior Varsity Competitor
... on Wrestling and the Dedicated Coach
... on Choosing a College
... on Off-Season Training
... on Pressure and the Smallfry Wrestler
... on Motivating Your Wrestlers
... on a Master Coach's Point of View
... on One Wrestler's Relationship with God
... on Dieting and Smallfry Wrestlers
... on Promoting Wrestling at Your School
... on Creativity in Wrestling
... on Making Excuses
... on Conducting Mini-Clinics
... on Wrestling: A Sport for All Eyes
... on Wrestling as a Tool for Rehabilitation
... on the "Top 20 Wrestler Alibis"
... on All-State and All-American Honors
... on Advice for Young Wrestling Officials
... on Those Great Losers
... on the Dedication of the Coach
... on "A Moment of Mat Magnificance"
... on How Wrestling Prepares for Life
... on How Wrestlers Should Approach Dieting
... on the Eccentricity of Champions
... on the Official and Stalling
... on the Life of a Wrestling Official
... on Officiating Smallfry Tournaments
... on How Sports Teach Athletes to Accept Life's Injustices
... on Greed in Sports
... on the Ironies of Officiating
... on Wrestling's Flagrant Misconduct
... on the Sons and Their Fathers
... on Humorous Officiating Experiences
... on Coaches Rating Officials
... on Bobby Douglas The Wrestler
... on a Unique Approach to Stalling
... on Good and Bad Breaks in Wrestling and Life
... on Sports and Law Suits
... on Being a Wrestling Parent
... on Paraprofessional Coaches
... on Parents' Love for their Wrestlers
... on Wrestlers Competing for the Love of the Sport
... on Excessive Dieting
... on Being a True Champion
... on Wrestling's Sudden Death
... on an Attitude Essay
... on an Official's Top Secret
... on Wrestlers and Their Cauliflower Ears

I stand ready to offer my expertise in wrestling to the general public, coaches and wrestlers in the form of wrestling clinics, wrestling practice demonstrations, and wrestling banquet presentations. They are outlined below.


The wrestling clinics that I would conduct are offered at the beginning of each wrestling season. I usually conduct them during "meet the team" night when parents and interested enthusiasts are in attendance. During the clinic presentation, the following are discussed in detail:
1) I explain the new rules and how they apply to the officials, wrestlers, and coaches.
2) I review the general stalling rules for wrestling in the neutral, top, and bottom positions.
3) I demonstrate unique situations in wrestling that tend to confuse those observing matches.
4) I discuss and hand out information on dieting.
5) At the end of the clinic, I answer any questions on rules that parents, coaches, wrestler, etc. would like to have clarified.


At the practice demonstration, I go over the following wrestling skills.
1) Proper Neutral Position Stances.
2) Basic Double Leg and Single Leg Takedown Situations.
3) The Pancake Takedown Series: Lateral Drop, Pancake Counter to Double Leg Takedown, Whizzer to Pancake, Knee Pancake, Balance Check, and Pancake Drill.
4) Chain Wrestling for the Bottom Wrestlers.
5) Conditioning and Skill Development via Situation Wrestling, Blindfold Wrestling, and Round-Robin Wrestling.
6) How to avoid being called for Stalling.

The practice demonstrations last approximately one hour and thirty minutes and may be videotaped. It is a very fast-paced workout session.


At wrestling banquet presentations, I share my thoughts on the special qualities that wrestlers must possess. There is much emphasis on how excuses and wrestling don't mix. In fact, the title of the speech is "Wrestling: A Sport where Excuses are Useless," and is spiced with humor, timely quotes, and practical advice for the athletes, parents, and wrestling coaches.

For further information about available dates and honorarium/expense detail, contact me at Warwood Middle School, (304) 243-0394. Should you want to write instead, my school address is Dr. Bill Welker; 150 Viking Drive, Wheeling WV 26003.

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