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September 27, 2019
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Gabe Beyer, the former Florida state champion wrestler, and All Big Bend Defensive Player of the Year in football from Tallahassee’s Leon High, is now starting his wrestling career at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock where the Trojans are starting a new wrestling program.
Beyer, who was recruited out of high school in 2016 by college powers Penn State and Arizona State, and many others, returned from Nevada earlier this year where he served two years as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Beyer said his high school sweetheart (now wife), Carly Hummel, set a strong example of making spiritual things a priority and helped him decide to postpone his wrestling career to serve a mission.
“I received a promise from my bishop that if I chose to serve a mission, my Heavenly Father would bless me with an opportunity to wrestle in college,” he said.
While still serving his mission in Nevada, Beyer received permission from mission leaders to reopen his college recruitment and communicate with schools interested in him. He reconsidered a previous commitment to Arizona State.
“When I first opened my recruitment back up I received multiple emails from big Division One programs that wanted to contact me,” said Beyer.
Beyer said he fasted and prayed to make the right decision and decided to be part of a new wrestling program in Little Rock.
“Immediately after fasting, my Dad received a call from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with my offer. This more than confirmed where I would go. While I wanted to wait until I was off my mission where I could go visit there before I committed, I knew Arkansas was where I needed to be,” he added.
Beyer said the two years in Nevada brought him closer to Christ.
“Looking back on my mission and choosing to serve the Lord for those two years has set the pace for the way that I want to live for the rest of my life,” he said. “My mission brought me closer to my Savior than I could ever imagine was possible. I reflect on my mission every day. Whether it be sharing a story with my wife or a friend, or just pondering on the peace that it brought into my life by helping me come to know my Savior,” he added.
Beyer said getting back into competitive shape after a two-year layoff was not easy.
“The day after I returned home from my mission it became time for me to hit the gym for the first time in two years and all I can say was, man was that hard. I had lost a lot of strength, speed, muscle endurance, and pretty much every other physical trait I would need to wrestle in college. Thankfully, the one thing I didn’t lose was my knowledge that the Lord is bound to bless me as I follow his commandments. With this knowledge, I was able to see myself transform very fast and began to see how much the Lord was blessing me with a renewal of strength each day,” he said.
Earlier this year, the Pac-12 Conference extended an invitation to UA-Little Rock to join the conference as an affiliate member in wrestling, which means Beyer will face off against Pac-12 wrestlers starting in November.
Beyer’s goals haven’t changed since his championship days at Leon.
“Now that I am here in Arkansas I have many goals, but to sum them up they are rather simple. The first being to continue to learn and serve in the church and continue to strengthen my testimony and share the gospel. The second being to be the best husband I can be to my loving wife. And lastly, to not allow anything to stop me from being a national, then world champion heavyweight wrestler.”
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