Boonville senior wrestler Andrew Broyhill was tired of hearing the doubters from around the state question whether he had enough to finish in the medal round at the state over the weekend at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
After garnering first last year in the district tournament and then finishing 2-2 at state, Broyhill entered Thursday’s tournament as the No. 2 seed in the district in the 170-pound weight class.
But after going 2-0 in the first-two rounds, those doubters started to sway their opinions differently about Broyhill. However, after a slight setback in the semifinal round Friday night against the eventual state champion Tyler McNutt of Benton, Broyhill came back with two wins on Saturday to finish third overall with a record of 4-1.
As for junior Haldan Toomsen, who entered the state tournament as the No. 2 seed from the Class 2 District 3 Tournament, he set his sights on advancing to the semifinal round and anything after that would be icing on the cake. As it turned out, Toomsen got much more than he expected by placing fifth overall in the 220-pound weight class with a record of 3-2.
Boonville Pirates wrestling coach Christian Stock said it was a really good day for Pirate wrestling.
“To bring two to the tournament and have two finish with medals I would say it’s a pretty good day,” Stock said. “We talked before the state tournament and I said the semis would be our toughest match. We knew that going in no matter who we drew that the semis would be tough and big for us. Neither one got the win there but I thought we came back and fought real well.”
The tournament started well enough for both Broyhill and Toomsen, who won by pins in the first-two rounds.
For Broyhill, he won by a fall over Berkeley’s Jamal White in 4:51 and then followed it up with a first-period pin in the quarters against St. Clair’s Dustin Conner.  As for Toomsen, he was also impressive with two second-period pins against Clayton’s Jared Garett in 3:29 and Ste. Genevieve’s Kellen Steagall in 3:04.
After the match against Conner, Broyhill said he was just a better wrestler mentally on the mat.
Of course happiness turned into disappointment for Broyhill in the semifinal round against Benton’s Tyler McNutt, who entered the match at 51-1 overall. Although Broyhill had wrestled McNutt previously during the season, McNutt won convincingly this time around by a score of 11-5.
“McNutt is just at a different level,” Broyhill said. “He is higher than anyone else I have seen and on his good day he can beat anyone in the state of Missouri. My best days I can beat him but it’s just that he is at a whole different level now.”
Stock said Broyhill knew he had his work cut out against McNutt.
“We had already faced him twice this year but both were real close matches,” Stock said. “We were down just a little bit in the first period and then in the middle of the second period we had a little roll through where we reversed and got three back points on him and were actually right at the edge of the mat. If we could have gotten him pulled back in maybe we could have gotten a pin. Then, in the third period, we got back to our feet and tried a couple of things because we were trying to push him and trying to finish out with a win, but we missed a couple of shots that we took and he capitalized on it so he came out on top.”
As it turned out the loss to McNutt was the only setback for Broyhill for the rest of the tournament. With the rest of the night to re-energize his batters, Broyhill came back on Saturday with perhaps the biggest match of his career against Moberly’s Blake Joiner.
Having lost to Joiner on three different occasions this year, Broyhill won the match that counted in wrestlebacks by beating Joiner 3-2 in a ultimate tiebreaker.
“I went out there and I did what I did,” Broyhill said. “I just wanted it more than he did. I just mentally and physically out-wrestled him.”
Stock said what is surprising about Broyhill’s win over Joiner is that in their last match Joiner won by a major decision at the Wallace Classic in Fulton.
“It was absolutely amazing,” Stock said. “It was the best time of the year to get that win.”
Broyhill didn’t stop with the win over Joiner. Needing one more win to garner third place, Broyhill trailed Wilson of Smithville 3-0 later in the second period before picking up a escape to make it 3-1. Meanwhile, in the third period, Broyhill reversed Wilson to tie the match at 3-all. Then, by design according to Broyhill, he let Wilson score a point on an escape to go up 4-3. However, in the final seconds of the match, Broyhill picked up takedown to win 5-4.
“I knew he was injured and mentally breaking down, so that’s why I let him up,” Broyhill said of Wilson. “I was mentally stronger and as soon as I let him up he was tired so I took a shot and he was done.”
Broyhill said when the final seconds ticked off the clock, it was the best feeling that he has ever had in wrestling altogether.
Of course finishing 34-9 on the season isn’t too bad either, according to Broyhill.
“Coming back from such a deficit last year and not even placing and then finishing third this year, there is nothing better,” he said.
As for Toomsen, he still has one year left to improve on his fifth place finish.
Although Toomsen finished the weekend at 3-2, he said he feels like he accomplished a lot. “It feels pretty great,” Toomsen said. “Next year I want to comeback and place in the top three.”
Toomsen was well on his way after the first-two rounds. While he admitted that he was a little nervous in the opening round against Garett, he said in the quarters against Steagall once he got past the first period he got in a flow and went with it.
“He was pretty much head butting me the whole time and that could have been the reason why I was kind of sloppy in the first period,” Toomsen said. “But after that I thought I wrestled pretty well.”
Stock said Toomsen wrestled just like he always does. “He had a kid that was really, really physical and banged the head and was coming after us, and if you know Haldan he is just a reserved kind of guy and he took his time and ended up catching the guy and sticking him in the second period.”
Although Steagall was sort of an unknown to Toomsen, his semifinal match against Savannah’s Bryson O’Callaghan was a rematch of the two wrestlers from the Excelsior Springs Tournament. Unfortunately for Toomsen, he had to injury default at Excelsior Springs due to a black eye. Meanwhile, in the semis Friday night, Toomsen said he just ran out of gas and really didn’t have it while losing by a score of 10-1.
“I did my best, that’s really all I can say,” Toomsen said. “I went out there in the first period and gave up too many points and then by the third period I was pretty gassed out. I fought through it and could have gotten pinned but I didn’t.”
Stock said O’Callaghan came out and kind of took it to Toomsen. “We just did not wrestle well in that match,” Stock said. “I was kind of worried how he would wrestle on Saturday after the loss. He came out a little flat in wrestlebacks but really improved in the fifth-place match.”
Having beaten Bolivar’s Nohea Creech by pin in the district tournament, Toomsen said he doesn’t know what really happened in the wrestlebacks while losing by a pin in 39 seconds.
“I didn’t have my head screwed on right I guess,” Toomsen said. “I didn’t expect that to happen so quickly. I will learn from it and it should help me next year.”
With a short turnaround for his fifth-place match, Toomsen again got off to a rough start while trailing Pleasant Hill’s Tommy Williams 2-0 after the first period. However, in the second and third period, Toomsen picked up the pace and used his experience on the mat to garner a 14-10 victory.
Toomsen said he thought Williams was a little bit more tired than he was so that helped out quite a bit. “The first period I didn’t wrestle my best but I came through in the end,” he said.
Stock said having seen Williams in the district tournament really helped Toomsen. “He is a really strong kid for a freshman,” Stock said of Williams. “He was fundamentally sound, really good on his feet, pretty active on the bottom and good at covering the hips. We just used our experience I think to out-wit him a little bit in that match and came out on top with a win.”
Toomsen also closed out the season with a record of 34-11, which matched Broyhill for most wins on the season.
Stock said four out of the six wrestlers in Toomsen’s weight class at districts placed in the top six at state.
Broyhill and Toomsen also helped Boonville to a 22nd place finish at state with 31 points.
Oak Grove captured the team title in Class 2 with 163 points while Smithville finished second with 140.5, followed by Kirksville with 117, Fulton with 101 and Pleasant Hill with 96.5
As for the five other conference teams in Class 2, Moberly finished 12th with 54 points, Mexico 16th with 46.5 points and Marshall 42nd with 2 points.
In Class 3, Hannibal finished fourth overall with a total of 115.5 points.
Neosho captured the Class 3 title with 218 points, followed by Staley with 160.5, Kearney with 138, Hannibal with 115.5 and Platte County with 110.5.
The North Central Missouri Conference also had five state champions over the weekend, with Hannibal producing three of the five champs. In all, the NCMC had 25 medalists out of 42 wrestlers. In addition to the five champs, the conference had five second-place finishers, five thirds, one fourth, three fifth-place finishers and six sixth-place finishers.
Fulton led the conference with seven medalists, followed by Kirksville and Hannibal each with five, Moberly and Mexico each with three and Boonville with two.
In the Class 1 standings, Blair Oaks captured the title with 98 points. Whitfield finished second with 95.5 points, followed by Lawson with 86, Marceline with 84.5 and Plattsburg with 82.5.
In Class 4, Park Hill edged Columbia Rock Bridge 132-126. Timberland finished third with 101 points, followed by Holt with 87.5 and Seckman with 80.5.