WHEELING - Rick and Bill Welker have been selected as the 2013 National Wrestling Sportswriters of the Year by Wrestling USA Magazine.
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.
The Welkers, both Wheeling residents, were nominated by Dr. Tim Miller, the webmaster of the Mountain State's wrestling website - www.wvmat.com.
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 online 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."
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 proteges 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."
Bill Welker has been the recipient of an unprecedented seven West Virginia Sportswriter of the Year awards for his "Mat Talk" series, which ran from 1978 to 2010 in the Wheeling News-Register and Martins Ferry Times-Leader. 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, 1st and 2nd Editions, Bill Welker has sold nearly 25,000 copies nationwide.
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 on WKKX 1600AM 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.