Missouri wrestling team gets education in Philadelphia

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 | 5:16 p.m. CST; updated 8:43 p.m. CST, Tuesday, January 26, 2010
The Missouri wrestling team poses in front of the Rocky statue at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

PHILADELPHIA — Missouri wrestling coach Brian Smith not only wanted his wrestlers to gain experience on the mat when they traveled to Philadelphia last weekend, but also wanted it to be an educational trip.

Smith, who was a history teacher at a high school outside of Ft. Lauderdale, FL for two years before coaching wrestling, took the Missouri wrestlers to downtown Philadelphia, after they were done competing, to see the Constitution Center, the Liberty Bell and to run the steps to the Museum of Art that Rocky ran in the “Rocky” movie series.

“I always try and do that stuff,” Smith said. “I love history and I talk to my guys a lot about history and use examples of famous people in history. They were in the bus taking pictures because a lot of them are Midwest boys that have never been out. A lot of coaches will say they’re going there to compete and that’s it, but for me, it can also be educational where we go to see and learn things.

“Doing something besides wrestling and actually enjoying the trip was a good thing,” senior Nick Marable said. “We had a lot of fun doing it and there was some good historical stuff.”

Missouri went 3-0 on the weekend before its sightseeing tour, defeating George Mason 34-7, Drexel 31-9 and Hofstra 34-7.

“We needed some matches where we could score some points and open up on people, so that was good,” Smith said. “We have had younger kids wrestling for us this year, but I told them it’s time to grow up, and they wrestled extremely tough.”

Missouri will open up the Big 12 season at 7 p.m. on Friday night when it visits Nebraska.

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