Kim North Earns Wrestling Award

MARTINS FERRY — He has been writing sports for years, building a large fanbase while accumulating a slew of awards.

Last month, however, Kim North was bestowed an honor of the highest proportions. The Troy, Ohio native was tabbed as the as the 2018 National Wrestling Sportswriter of the Year by Wrestling USA Magazine.

North is passionate when it comes wrestling. He was honored as West Virginia Wrestling Sports Writer of the Year in 1990 and 2017.

“When I got into this business, I didn’t do it for the personal glory,” North said. “I did it for the individuals who deserve the recognition. Whatever awards I receive, I accept them with pride.”

He has been covering the mat sport for some 30 years at all ages — pee-wee, youth, high school and collegiate levels.

“It’s seeing the kids’ faces after they win a big match, especially in tournaments where their season, and sometimes careers, are on the line,” North said when asked of some of the highlights during his extensive coverage. “There is so much joy because wrestling is the hardest sport to perform in. There’s so much dedication that goes on and it teaches discipline and life lessons — on and off the mat.”

North started his journalism career in 1983 and is currently an employee of The Times Leader.

“Whenever there is a significant wrestling match in the Ohio Valley, you will find Kim North interviewing coaches and wrestlers to get to the heart of the competition. Kim is highly respected by coaches and officials in Ohio and West Virginia because of his deep understanding of the mat sport,” Dr. Bill Welker, Ohio Valley wrestling maven said. “As a former wrestler himself, Kim is able to interject the emotions and excitement of hotly contested matches in his writings. He has the uncanny ability to take action shots that capture the essence of wrestling competitions.

“As a wrestling writer, Kim has spotlighted many area wrestlers and schools with story lines that have promoted wrestling throughout the entire Ohio Valley for decades. He also promotes wrestling as a guest on Rick Welker’s weekly wrestling radio show, sharing his in-depth knowledge of the sport. Kim North loves wrestling. He is a true patron and ambassador of Ohio Valley wrestling.”

North is the widowed father of three: daughter Meika and sons Skyler and Tyler. The Bridgeport resident also has five granddaughters.

“I was nominated by Dr. Bill Welker. He informed me by email on Feb. 14 that I was selected. That was the day before the seventh anniversary of my wife, Patty’s, death. Kind of ironic of the timing, but it helped me get through the next day,” the Salem College grad noted. “When I started writing, I never thought I would be nominated for such a prestigious award, let alone be selected the winner. I have to thank Dr. Bill Welker for putting me up for nomination. I would also like to thank all the wrestlers who have grown accustomed to me at matside and all of the coaches who I have pestered for interviews.”

North is also a member of the Bridgeport Rotary Club and has been selected as the president-elect for 2019.

“After I nominated Kim, the editorial staff of Wrestling USA Magazine made the final selection. The official announcement of his award will be in the May issue of WUSA Magazine,” Welker added.