MUTIGERS.com
Meet the Newcomers

MUTIGERS.COM Head Coach Brian Smith and his staff have brought in another elite class for 2010-11
MUTIGERS.COM
Head Coach Brian Smith and his staff have brought in another elite class for 2010-11
MUTIGERS.COM

July 6, 2010

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The University of Missouri wrestling team is in the middle of the grind of their off-season training and workout program, looking to prepare themselves for another successful year. Of the 14 signees in this year’s class, nine of them are currently here in Columbia taking classes and going through training to get prepared for the season.

InterMat named Missouri’s 2010 recruiting class as the 11th best in the nation, highlighted by three top-100 recruits, Alan Waters (No. 49), Drake Houdashelt (No. 60) and Simon Kitzis (No. 89), and Danny Gonsor, a transfer from the University of Virginia who qualified for the NCAA Championship last season.

The incoming freshmen, who are taking a health professions class and Acting for Non-Majors, are wrapping up those two classes as they continue to prepare for the season. MUTigers.com recently spoke to the nine newcomers who are in town this summer to see how they are adjusting to life at Mizzou.

Danny Gonsor, Cleveland, Ohio, Projected Weight Class: 157
Career Highlights: Junior transfer from the University of Virginia. Made his first NCAA appearance last season as a sophomore, finishing the tournament with a 1-2 record. Was a member of four-straight state champion teams in high school at St. Edward, which included the national champion squad in 2007.

How’s summer training going and what kind of things are you working on?
“Good, really good. I’m coming for a different program so it’s nice to switch it up a little bit with new training partners and stuff. Everyone’s working hard. I’m learning a new system, which is nice because I learned a lot at Virginia and now I’m here to learn even more so I can kind of mesh the two together in my own style.”

What are some of your own personal goals for the upcoming season?
“I really only have to personal goals and it’s to win an NCAA Championship and help the team win an NCAA Championship.”

What’s your favorite thing about being at Mizzou and in Columbia so far?
“I like being with the team, working hard towards winning that national championship and having the right people around me to do it.”

Drake Houdashelt, O’Fallon, Mo., Projected Weight Class: 157
Career Highlights: Two straight state championships in 2009 and 2010. Finished second at Junior Nationals in ’09 and second at the FILA Juniors in ‘10.

How’s summer training going and what kind of things are you working on?
“It’s going well. I’m working on some things with my feet and trying to get that down.”

What are some of your own personal goals for the upcoming season?
“I just want to keep getting better and improve myself every practice.”

What’s your favorite thing about being at Mizzou and in Columbia so far?
“It’s cool being around all of the people here.”

Eric Hughes, Washington, Mo., Projected Weight Class: 125
Career Highlights: Back-to-back second-place finishes at state his junior and senior seasons. Was a combined 114-8 over the course of his last three seasons.

How’s summer training going and what kind of things are you working on?
“Training’s going really well. I’m getting a lot stronger and I’m really honing my technique and improving in a lot of positions that I need to.”

What are some of your own personal goals for the upcoming season?
“I want to make big strides toward wrestling at a higher level in the future and to improve myself greatly.”

What’s your favorite thing about being at Mizzou and in Columbia so far?
“I like being with all of the wrestlers. It helps us all get better as a team which will help us find ways to win later.”

Austin Lindsay, Brookfield, Mo., Projected Weight Class: 149
Career Highlights: Won four straight state championships in high school while amassing a 179-2 career record. Was a perfect 137-0 during his last three seasons, and recorded 38 falls his senior year. Also named District Wrestler of the Year twice and finished high school with a 3.9 GPA.

How’s summer training going and what kind of things are you working on?
“It’s going pretty good. I’m starting to put on weight with lifting, shakes and everything else. We’ve been running, trying to get in shape and ready for the season.”

What are some of your own personal goals for the upcoming season?
“I want to have a winning record and give some of the starters a challenge for their spot.”

What’s your favorite thing about being at Mizzou and in Columbia so far?
“I love everything. The team and the campus are great, it’s just awesome.”

Devin Mellon, Lawson, Mo., Projected Weight Class: HWT
Career Highlights: Won state in 2008, ’09 and ’10 in high school after finishing second his freshman year. Finished high school career with a 152-8 record, which includes a perfect 43-0 senior season.

How’s summer training going and what kind of things are you working on?
“It’s going pretty good. I’m in pretty good shape so far and I’m working on my riding.”

What are some of your own personal goals for the upcoming season?
“I want to get a little bigger, I need to gain some weight, and become better overall on the mat.”

What’s your favorite thing about being at Mizzou and in Columbia so far?
“All of the guys on the team are pretty cool. The older guys don’t hassle you or anything and they’re always willing to help you out any way they can.”

Ty Prazma, Granite City, Ill., Projected Weight Class: 157/165
Career Highlights: Finished second at the Southeastern Regional in freestyle in 2009. Lettered three times in soccer in high school and four times in wrestling. Registered 28 falls his senior year.

How’s summer training going and what kind of things are you working on?
“They got us lifting every morning at seven, so that’s a lot of fun. You can already tell that it’s making a difference. All of the technique we’ve been working on is really starting to pay off it looks like.”

What are some of your own personal goals for the upcoming season?
“I want to get acquainted with the college-style of wrestling and hopefully place at some open tournaments later in the year since I’ll probably be redshirting.”

What’s your favorite thing about being at Mizzou and in Columbia so far?
“The atmosphere. Everyone loves the athletics and it feels good to be a student-athlete for a school like that.”

Mike Schmidt, Centralia, Mo., Projected Weight Class: 133
Career Highlights: Recorded three runner-up finishes at state in high school. Graduated eighth in his class with a 3.98 GPA. Earned 12 letters, which includes four in football, four in wrestling and four in FFA. Career high school record was 151-14.

How’s summer training going and what kind of things are you working on?
“We’ve been working on our technique, getting everything down to the little pieces that make up the big difference.”

What are some of your own personal goals for the upcoming season?
“To work hard and get better for next year.”

What’s your favorite thing about being at Mizzou and in Columbia so far?
”My favorite thing is the environment and being around all of my teammates”

Alan Waters, Kansas City, Mo., Projected Weight Class: 125
Career Highlights: Four-time state champion in high school, finishing his career with a 182-4 record. Went a perfect 47-0 his senior year. Won two Fargo National Championships in freestyle and Greco in 2007.

How’s summer training going and what kind of things are you working on?
“Summer training is going pretty good. I’m working on getting in shape and getting ready for the fall right now. We’ve been working pretty hard this summer and we’re looking forward to getting ready for the season.”

What are some of your own personal goals for the upcoming season?
“Not sure for this season because I’m not sure if I’m redshirting or not yet.”

What’s your favorite thing about being at Mizzou and in Columbia so far?
“I like being apart of the team. I’m happy that I’m finally up here and I get to work out with them and get better.”

Trevor Wiest, O'Fallon, Mo., Projected Weight Class: 149
Career Highlights: Finished third at state twice and fourth at state twice during his high school career. Recorded 19 falls his senior year on his way to a 46-4 record. Finished seventh at the 2007 Fargo Nationals in freestyle.

How’s summer training going and what kind of things are you working on?
“It’s going good. It’s a lot tougher than what I’m used to. I’m lifting a lot of weights and conditioning right now.”

What are some of your own personal goals for the upcoming season?
“I want to win all of my matches of course and hopefully take everything I can from these guys and try to get better during my redshirt year.”

What’s your favorite thing about being at Mizzou and in Columbia so far?
“The guys on the team are awesome. They really motivate you and all of the coaches are here to help. The campus is awesome. I’m liking it all.”

The Rest of the Class

John Eblen, Kansas City, Mo., Projected Weight Class: 197
Career Highlights: 2010 Missouri Class 4 State Champ, 2009 Junior National Freestyle 8th Place, 2009 Missouri Class 4 State Runner-Up, 2008 Missouri Class 4 State 4th Place, 2007 Cadet National Freestyle 4th Place, 2007 Cadet Greco-Roman National Runner-Up, 2007 Missouri Class 4 State Qualifier. High school record: 153-31

Simon Kitzis, Kingston, Pa., Projected Weight Class: 141
Career Highlights: 2010 National Prep 3rd Place, 2009 Beast of the East Champ, 2009 Walsh Ironman Runner-Up, 2009 National Prep 3rd Place, 2008 Beast of the East Champ, 2008 Cadet National Freestyle 5th Place, 2008 National Prep 7th Place

Mike Larson, McKinleyville, Calif., Projected Weight Class: 184
Career Highlights: CSU-Bakersfield transfer. 2010 NCAA Qualifier, 2010 PAC-10 2nd Place. 24-16 career record.
 
Phillip Perry, Hannibal, Mo., Projected Weight Class: 174
Career Highlights: 2010 Missouri Class 3 State Runner-Up, 2009 Missouri Class 3 State 3rd Place, 2008 Missouri Class 3 State Runner-Up, 2007 Missouri Class 3 State Qualifier. High school record: 157-32

Dustin Williams, St. Joseph, Mo., Projected Weight Class: 184
Career Highlights: 2010 Missouri Class 2 State Champ, 2009 Missouri Class 2 State Runner-Up, 2008 Missouri Class 2 State 5th Place, 2007 Missouri Class 2 State 6th Place. High school record: 171-19

Stay tuned to MUTigers.com for more information as the season approaches.