Shamokin native Bill Welker, a 1963 state wrestling champion at Shamokin High School, and his son Rick have been selected as the 2013 National Wrestling Sportswriters of the Year by Wrestling USA Magazine.

The Welkers were nominated by Dr. Tim Miller, webmaster of West Virginia's wrestling website - Miller said, "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 Rick have contributed hundreds of on-line articles.

The column has dealt with every aspect imaginable in wrestling. They have doled out their expertise and knowledge of wrestling with the targeted audience of wrestlers, coaches, officials, parents, fans, etc."

Each column written by the Welkers can be copied at no cost by all website viewers, which they can then share with others across the state and nation by visiting

Rick Welker is also an accomplished, veteran Ohio Valley wrestling official. He has refereed at the youth, middle school, and high school levels.

In addition, Bill Welker has again been commissioned by Human Kinetics Publishers of Champaign, Ill., to produce a second edition to The Wrestling Drill Book. The book is dedicated to the late Mal Paul and the late Lyman "Beans" Weaver, Welker's coaches at Shamokin .

Due to the success of the first edition,

Welker was informed in July, 2011, of the publisher's desire to print a second edition. After a year and a half of chapter additions, expansions, and revisions, the project has come to fruition.

The Wrestling Drill Book is now in bookstores nationwide. Welker has 55 years of experience as a competitor, coach, official, tournament director, motivational speaker, and writer.

Welker is a seven-time West Virginia Wrestling Writer of the Year award winner, and has been inducted into four halls of fame, including the National Wrestling Hall of Fame (West Virginia Chapter) and the Pennsylvania Wrestling Hall of Fame.

The second edition includes two new chapters on footwork and advanced throws, as well as expanding the original chapters with nearly 90 more wrestling and conditioning drills, and more than 550 photos.

A political quagmire

If you're into politics, the revelations that the National Security Agency has been monitoring all our phone and e-mail traffic in the name of combatting terrorism has to have you dazed and confused, no matter which side of the spectrum you claim.

For example, if you're a conservative, you don't know whether to be happy that the administration is doing all it can to protect our national interests, or to be upset that out liberties are being trampled on. You don't know whether to think leaker Edward Snowden is a hero or a traitor.

If you're a liberal, you're probably happy that the conservatives now know what you may have gone through during the Nixon years, but upset to know that your guy - Barack Obama - is the guy behind it all.

If you're in the middle, you're just disgusted, especially when Obama assures us that the executive branch, the judicial branch and Congress are monitoring the program closely.

That makes me feel real comfortable.

(Souders is a sports writer for The News-Item. His column

appears on Fridays.)