April 16, 2012
COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Missouri wrestling team officially wrapped up the 2011-12 season with their annual banquet this past Sunday, April 15. The program looked back at the year that was and announced several end-of-the-year awards.
Sophomore Alan Waters was picked as the team’s Most Outstanding Wrestler, as he went 29-4 on the season and won his first career Big 12 Championship. The Most Outstanding Wrestler award is the oldest award given by the Missouri wrestling program, dating back to 1963. Waters won 15 of his 16 dual matches, led the team with 62 dual points and registered six wins by fall and seven by technical fall.
Redshirt freshman Drake Houdashelt was honored with the Marshall Esteppe Most Outstanding Freshman Award, which is given to the freshman wrestler who has made the most significant contribution to his class and teammates. Marshall Esteppe is credited with resurrecting the Missouri wrestling program in 1958 after 10 years of dormancy. Houdashelt won the Big 12 title at 157 pounds in his first year of action, finishing with a 28-7 overall record and a 15-4 mark in duals. Houdashelt also won the Ironman Award, given to the Missouri wrestler who never missed a weight training session, practice or competition.
After wrapping up a successful career at Mizzou with a 22-5 record, senior Patrick Wright was given the Hap Whitney Coach’s Award, an honor that is given to the wrestler that displays dedication, commitment, sacrifice and unselfishness to the team on a constant basis. Wright wrestled in four duals on the year, going 3-1 in those matches, and finished his career with an overall record of 82-37.
Fellow senior Dorian Henderson was recognized with the Ed Lampitt Total Tiger Award, given to a leader on and off the mat. Henderson wrapped up his career as a four-time NCAA qualifier and a two-time Academic All-Big 12 selection. With a 22-13 record this season, Henderson finished his time at Missouri with an 88-56 record.
Earning both Most Improved Wrestler and the award for Most Pins was junior Mike Larson, who broke out in a big way in 2011-12. Larson qualified for the NCAA Championships for the third straight season and won his first career Big 12 crown, taking first at 184 pounds. He was 24-6 overall and 11-2 in duals during the season, and registered a team-best eight pin falls.
Junior Todd Porter earned the team’s Strength and Conditioning Award for his work in the weight room. The hard work paid off for Porter, as he was 14-5 on the year with six major decisions and three top-three finishes in open tournaments.