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Wrestler Boyd sets goals at Missouri



As a two-time high school All-American wrestler and an exceptional golfer, Boomer Boyd was thriving. But, despite his success, he wanted more.

Even after qualifying for the U.S. Junior Amateur, the young phenom made the decision to forgo golf and go all in on wrestling. Boyd realized that if he was to accomplish his goals, he would need to make life-changing sacrifices, including his beloved hometown of Wilmington.

As a 17-year-old high school senior, he left Laney High School and moved to Cary by himself, leaving his family and his life behind.

His parents moved him in and financed a one-bedroom apartment for their son, enabling Boyd the newfound independence of living on his own.

“To continue to improve and get to where I wanted to be, I had to surround myself and work with better training partners and better coaches,” said Boyd, now a redshirt freshman on the wrestling team at the University of Missouri, which is ranked No. 6 in the country. “It would give me the best opportunity to reach my goals of winning a state championship and eventually winning a national title.”

Living on his own for the first time, Boyd was faced with new challenges away from the wrestling mat that would pin down any 17-year-old.

“I didn’t know how to do laundry,” he said in a telephone interview last week. “I would get somebody from school to come help me. But it was a learning experience. I was on my own and there was nobody there to push me. It was beneficial for me in maturing for college.”

He could tackle the laundry, or take down opponents on the mat.

But people beyond his wrestling focus became his most contentious adversaries. Following his untraditional decision, Boyd and his family received significant backlash.

“I was heavily criticized,” said Boyd, “They made my mom cry and verbally attacked my family. I used it as motivation.”

After his senior season, he was honored as Male Outstanding Athlete at Cary High School.

After enrolling at Missouri, Boyd took a redshirt year.

He was allowed to practice with the team, but to compete in invitational meets, he was required to be an unaffiliated participant who paid his own way.

He finished 12-6 in four of those meets.

Now a full member of the team, he’s 12-5 this season and has solidified himself as the Tigers’ No. 2 wrestler at 125 pounds, only behind his teammate and training partner, Alan Waters – the No. 3-ranked wrestler in the country.

“It’s been an awesome,” said Boyd. “Alan’s one of my best friends. It’s not a rivalry there because he does beat up on me; it’s more he mentors me. If I make a mistake, he helps me fix it. We have similar goals and we work together.”

But All of Boyd’s experiences, both good and bad, have been instrumental.

“I came to Mizzou to become a national champion,” said Boyd. “That’s my goal. I am relentless in working hard and living in the moment. Doing one more. One more rep; one more anything to better myself and continue to compete, improve and get stronger.”