Welch wins state title for River View biddy program

| March 4, 2020

Joel Welch made his mark on River View wrestling history by becoming the school district’s first state champion in the sport. Joel (center) is pictured with Devin Klein, River View’s varsity wrestling coach, and his dad/coach Stanton Welch. (Submitted)

Joel Welch made his mark on River View wrestling history by becoming the school district’s first state champion in the sport.

The Warsaw Elementary School sixth grader, who has been wrestling for six years, won his state title on Feb. 23 in Akron.

“One of things that’s neat to know is that from sectionals through district and clear through the state tournament he never had a point scored against him,” said Stanton Welch, Joel’s father and coach. “That’s a big deal.”

Joel wrestles with River View’s biddy program and this year started with the Warner ELITE Wrestling Club.

“He didn’t make it to state last year and that motivated him to start working harder and practicing harder,” Stanton said. “He wrestled all through the summer and wrestled in other states.”

Joel went 70-9 this season and all of his losses came from bigger tournaments and one was against a junior high student.

“I think what helped me this year was my drilling partners and going to more practices since I wrestled for Warner’s and River View,” Joel said.

Stanton agreed with his son.

“Last year he wrestled maybe 20 to 30 matches and this year he wrestled almost 80,” Stanton said. “He’s upped his level of competition too by traveling to different states, going to more tournaments and wrestling through the summer. You face tougher kids there who are more serious about it (the sport).”

Joel has two more state wrestling tournaments to compete at with two different wrestling organizations. He also has his sights set on going to state in junior high and wrestling in college.

“Since I’m his coach I really got to see his improvement from last year to this year,” Stanton said. “I’ve seen changes in him too this year with his losses. They’re not as devastating and are just part of wrestling. There is always going to be someone better and you constantly have to try to improve.”

He added that the whole family helped get Joel to practice, but he’s the one who worked hard to get to the top of the podium.

“It’s a moment I’ll never forget,” Stanton said. “I got to present his state tournament award to him and there will be a time when he gets to the upper levels that I won’t be the one getting to do that.”

The sport has turned into a family affair and Joel appreciates that.

“It’s nice,” Joel said. “If I didn’t have my family behind me I might not be sticking with it.”

His advice to his younger teammates would be to persevere.

“There were times I had to cut weight or was getting beat up at practice, but if it gets hard you just have to stay with it,” Joel said.

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Category: Sports, Youth

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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