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Former Troy Christian wrestling champ dies

B.J. Toal was two-time state champion


Former Troy Christian High School two-time state wrestling champion B.J. Toal died earlier this week following complications of a severe head injury he sustained at Columbia, Missouri. He was 23.

According to the Columbia Police Department, Toal ran from an officer after being observed in an altercation with another man April 1. Police located Toal in a nearby downtown alley with a head laceration from a fall. He was transported to a local hospital and died Monday following 10 days in intensive care.

“The great thing about B.J. was he continued to share his passion for wrestling through coaching and other avenues,” Missouri wrestling coach Brian Smith said in a release. “He impacted so many other people’s lives, just like he impacted ours. The Tiger Style family is going through a tough time right now, my biggest prayers are with his family helping them get through this.”

Toal and older brother Zach Toal were part of an outstanding run of Troy Christian wrestlers who helped vault the Eagles among the state’s best Division III programs. A celebrated middle school state champ, B.J. Toal opted not to wrestle as a freshman, then returned to the sport as a champion.

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B.J. Toal was the D-III state runner-up at 171 pounds as a sophomore in 2011. Moving up to 182 pounds, he won consecutive D-III state titles as a junior and senior. Troy Christian won a D-III state team championship in 2013 when Toal was a senior and was the D-III state runner-up the previous season.

Toal’s coaches at Troy Christian were Steve Goudy and Ty Morgan.

Toal’s brother Zach was a three-time state champion at Troy Christian and preceded B.J. to Missouri, where both wrestled. Zach was a four-time NCAA qualifier and compiled a 93-50 record from 2009-14 for the Tigers.

B.J. redshirted as a freshman at Missouri and an injury forced him to retire from the sport in the fall of 2014. He was an assistant wrestling coach at Battle High School in Columbia the past two years and had hoped to resume his wrestling career.

“Mizzou Wrestling and Mizzou Athletics is saddened to hear of the passing of former wrestler B.J. Toal,” the Missouri athletic department said in a release. “With his older brother Zach being on the team as well, the Toal family has been a part of the Tiger Style family for a long time and forever will be. Our thoughts and prayers are with B.J.’s family and friends during this time of grief.”

Toal was listed as a senior at Missouri, pursing an undergraduate degree in Parks, Recreation & Tourism.

Troy Christian athletic director Jeff Sakal said funeral arrangements have not been announced and out of respect for the family any memorial the school will hold to honor Toal is pending.

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