Boonville wrestlers Andrew Broyhill and Haldan Toomsen will embark on the biggest tournament of the season Thursday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
After finishing second last week at the Class 2 District 3 Tournament in Bolivar, Broyhill and Toomsen will look to add to their hardware while competing at the state tournament in the 170 and 220-pound weight class, respectively.
Broyhill, 30-8 on the season, will face Berkeley’s Jamal White, 24-12, in the opening round. As for Toomsen, 31-11 on the season, he will go up against Clayton’s Jared Garett, 24-8.
Boonville Pirates wrestling coach Christian Stock said he expects both  wrestlers to medal.
“Last year Andrew pulled first coming out of districts and really didn’t get a great draw and had some of the tougher kids on our side of the bracket,” Stock said. “This year by finishing second at districts it worked out better for us and we got a lot better draw. We are opposite two of the stronger kids in the bracket and they are going to meet up in the semis so that helps us out quite a bit. Andrew is wrestling really strong this year. In the district tournament I thought he wrestled really well all weekend long.
“He came up against a kid from Monett and wrestled a tough match, losing 3-1. He had a good opportunity right at the end of the first period where I thought he got two for a takedown, but it was waved off by the official and that kind of changed the whole demeanor of the match. We could have ended up winning that but in all reality, with the draw we got, we may be better off taking second place anyway.”
After finishing out of the medal round last year, Broyhill looks to hang around a little longer this year. And why not? After all, Broyhill does have the second most wins on the team behind only Toomsen. He also ranks first in takedowns with 38 and major decisions with three, second in falls with 18 and two-point nearfalls with two, and third with decisions with four, reversals with eight and three-point nearfalls with seven.
Broyhill said he is going all out because this is his senior year.
“There is nothing going to be stopping me this year,” Broyhill said. “Last year I was nervous and I didn’t have my head on straight. I had harder opponents so I wasnt in the right mindset. This year I know I have nothing to lose.”
Broyhill said he hasn’t seen his first-two opponents but knows that he is going to wrestle them like any other kid he has wrestled.
“Records are just records,” Broyhill said. “It really doesn’t tell a story about them. I really feel like I have a better chance at medaling than I did last year. I feel with this draw of the bracket, especially with me getting the seeding, I have a much better chance than I would have if I had taken first.”
While Broyhill will be making his second trip to state, Toomsen will be making his first for the Pirates.
While sporting a record of 31-11, Toomsen also leads the Pirates with most fall with 22, most decisions with six, most reversals with 14 and most three-point nearfalls with 13. He also ranks second with most takedowns with 20 and fifth in two-point nearfalls with two.
Stock said Toomsen has wrestled solid all year long and has kind of been in the shadows of other wrestlers in his weight class. “Nobody has really paid a lot of attention to him,” Stock said. “Actually he is a leader in wins and several other categories right now on the team and has kind of been the underdog. He took a sixth place seed at districts last weekend and kind of stirred the bracket. He ended up losing to the Kearney kid, who is the defending state champion, but wrestled solid all weekend by pinning the No. 3 seed and then turning right around and pinning the No. 2 seed in the semis. Haldan’s draw looks really good as well. My expectations for both him and Andrew and looking at the draws and knowing what they are capable of, I truly expect to be watching both of them in the semis on Friday night.”
Toomsen said he would like to make it to the semifinals. “This is my first time at state so this is a great opportunity,” Toomsen said. “There is always going to be nerves but I am going to treat it like any other match and go with the flow and whatever happens happens.”
In the North Central Missouri Conference, Kirksville leads the number of state qualifiers with 11. Fulton qualified nine to state, followed by Hannibal with seven, Mexico with six, Moberly with five and Boonville and Marshall each with two.
In all, the NCMC qualified 42 wrestlers for the state tournament in Class 2 and 3.
First-round matches in Class 1-2 will begin at 10 a.m.