Congratulations Bill Welker and Rick Welker, who have been selected as the 2013 National Wrestling Sportswriters of the Year by Wrestling USA Magazine!
The Welkers, who are both Wheeling residents, were nominated by Dr. Tim Miller, the webmaster of the Mountain State's wrestling website. Miller stated, “When I began the West Virginia wrestling website in the 1990s, Bill Welker generously agreed to create the West Virginia Mat Thoughts column dealing with the art and science of wrestling. Since then, Bill and his son Rick have contributed 100s of on-line articles. The column has dealt with every aspect imaginable in the mat sport. They have doled out their expertise and knowledge of wrestling with the targeted audience of wrestlers, coaches, officials, parents, fans, etc.”
Bill Welker also answers any and all questions regarding the rules of wrestling in his column entitled Making the Call. Welker has been the recipient of an unprecedented seven WV Sportswriter of the Year awards for his “Mat Talk” series, which ran from 1978 to 2010 in the N-R and T-L. He also received a previous National Wrestling Sportswriter of the Year award by Wrestling USA Magazine in 1987. The editor and author of The Wrestling Drill Book, Bill Welker has sold nearly 25,000 copies nationwide.
Rick Welker is also an accomplished, veteran Ohio Valley wrestling official. He has refereed mat sport events at the youth, middle school, and high school arenas. Furthermore, Welker has been an extremely successful wrestling coach who has produced numerous championship teams and wrestlers at the middle school level. In fact, many of his protégés have gone on to become high school state champions and all-state wrestlers. For his exceptional mat mentoring skills at Triadelphia Middle School, Rick Welker was named the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference's “2011 Junior High School Wrestling Coach of the Year.”
But the Welkers' love of wrestling doesn't stop with their writings. They also have a regional, weekly one-hour radio program in the upper Ohio Valley: The Rick Welker Wrestling Show (WKKX 1600 AM – Wheeling, WV) during the season. Rick is the host and his dad acts as his sidekick, answering any wrestling rules questions and unusual mat sport scenarios that may arise. They discuss all topics of wrestling and interview various regional wrestling luminaries – outstanding coaches, wrestlers, officials, tournament directors, and wrestling fans – from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The show is filled with wrestling war-stories, discussions on serious wrestling matters, and it is spiced with humorous mat sport anecdotes.
Cody Bryant, managing editor of Wrestling USA Magazine, said that Rick and Bill Welker received Wrestling USA's 2013 National Wrestling Sportswriters of the Year award for their total dedication to the promotion of the mat sport at the local, regional and national levels.