COLUMBIA — Before Missouri takes on South Carolina in football on homecoming weekend, past Tigers wrestling stars will battle current wrestlers during the Alumni Black & Gold scrimmage.
By TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star
It’s at the Hearnes Center and will take place before the Tigers take on the Gamecocks. The time will be set when the SEC football schedule for that weekend is released Monday.
Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren won’t be able to make it back. Rumor is he wanted to participate, but he’s training for a wrestling bout against former Penn State star Quentin Wright, a four-time All-American and former NCAA Champion.
Askren, who exhausted his eligibility at Missouri in 2007, will tussle with Wright in the Agon Wrestling Championships main event Oct. 27 in Las Vegas.
Here are the alumni who will be returning: Tyler McCormick, Nathan McCormick, Dom Bradley, Nick Marable, Andrew Sherry, Brooks Travis, Brandon Wiest, Dorain Henderson, Mike Larson, Almond Prater, Patrick Wright and Tyron Woodley.
It’s a shame the Alumni Black & Gold scrimmage can’t include Missouri football players squaring off against each other.
There are plenty of great high school wrestlers among the Tigers football team’s ranks, including former Kansas heavyweight champion Lucas Vincent.
That list also includes senior tackle Justin Britt and sophomore center Evan Boehm.
As a senior at Lebanon, Britt pinned Boehm, a Lee’s Summit West freshman at the time, in the 2009 Missouri Class 4 state wrestling heavyweight semifinals with 1 second left in the first period.
“Justin’s a great athlete and a great guy who does a lot of cool stuff,” Boehm said. “My freshman year, I kind of based my wrestling techniques and style after Justin. The things he did, that’s where I wanted to be. I didn’t want to wrestle like the normal heavyweights, who are boring to watch. He’s one of the main reasons I was the wrestler I was.”
Britt went on to win the state crown that season, capping a 45-0 season.
Eventually, Boehm became a state champion himself, winning the title (as well as titles in football and the discus) during a stellar junior year.
Before the question is half-finished — “Who would win a rematch …?” — Boehm chimes in midsentence, “I would. I would, and I already knew where that question was going.”
Unfortunately, he won’t get that chance — and not just because coach Gary would balk Pinkel (we assume, though have never specifically asked) at letting 40 percent of his starting offensive line wrestle an exhibition match a few hours before the South Carolina game.
“I’m done with wrestling,” Britt said. “I’m done. I hung up my wrestling shoes.”
Guess that means Boehm wins the rematch by default.
To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/todpalmer.