B.J. Toal died from complications of a head injury last Monday following 10 days in intensive care at a Columbia, Missouri, hospital. He was 23.
A Columbia Police Department report said Toal was observed in an altercation with another male and then ran when confronted during the early hours of April 1 in downtown Columbia. Toal was located in an alleyway with a laceration to his head from a fall and hospitalized, the report said.
Toal’s death resonated throughout the Missouri wrestling program, which he was hoping to rejoin after leaving because of a neck/back injury. It also hit hard his hometown of Sidney and the Troy Christian communities.
The Toal brothers, John, Zach and B.J., were all multiple-sport standouts at Troy Christian. John was a small-school All-Ohio football player and Zach won three straight state wrestling championships. B.J. won consecutive 182-pound Division III state wrestling titles as a junior and senior and was the state runner-up as a sophomore.
B.J. Toal of Troy Christian (left) decisioned Sam Groff of Magnolia Sandy Valley to win his second straight D-III 182-pound state title in 2013 at the Jerome Schottenstein Center in Columbus. STAFF FILE
“B.J. was a blessing to all who knew him,” his father Bruce Toal said in a statement. “He was a compassionate and loving person who touched so many people’s lives. He will be deeply missed. The outpouring of love and concern from all who knew him testifies to the kind of person he was.”
Visitation will be from 3:30-8 p.m. on Friday, April 21, at Connection Point Church of God in Sidney. A funeral will follow the next day at 10:30 a.m. at the church.
Morgan has since reversed coaching roles with Goudy, who’s now Troy Christian’s coach and Morgan his assistant. Morgan last saw Toal working out at the Troy Christian fieldhouse over the Christmas holiday break. Toal was an assistant wrestling coach at Battle High School in Columbia the last two seasons. He was a senior at Missouri, pursuing an undergraduate degree.
“It’s been a hard pill to swallow,” Morgan said. “We’re all still in the shock phase. He was a very special kid and we had a special relationship with him and his family.”
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High school: Troy Christian, 2013 grad.
College: Missouri, senior.
Visitation: 3:30-8 p.m. on Friday, April 21, Connection Point Church of God, 1510 Campbell Road, Sidney.
Funeral: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 22, at Connection Point.