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Behind the Latter-day Saint missions of 2 Nebraska wrestlers and their return to the mat

Brock Hardy, a Latter-day Saint wrestler at the University of Nebraska, posted on Instagram in November 2020 about the opportunities he’s been given from God. Hardy co-wrote an article with teammate Brandyn Van Tassell about their experiences serving Latter-day Saint missions and returning to wrestling.
Screenshot, Instagram

It’s not common to see two members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, let alone two returned missionaries, both competing for one of the top college wrestling programs in the country.

Yet that’s the case for Brandyn Van Tassell and Brock Hardy, two Latter-day Saint freshmen at the University of Nebraska.

Van Tassell and Hardy recently co-authored an article detailing their experiences in leaving the wrestling mat to serve Latter-day Saint missions — Van Tassell in Chicago, Hardy in Brazil — as part of the “N Our Voice Series” on Huskers.com.

In the lengthy article, Van Tassell and Hardy describe overcoming injuries, being recruited to Nebraska, serving their respective missions and the challenge of returning to the intense sport after a two-year absence, among other things. Both express gratitude for their mission experiences.

“Going on this mission trip was absolutely critical to me. Giving those two years back is something I felt was a necessity,” Van Tassell wrote in the article. “If a school wasn’t going to give me a scholarship because of that, then so be it.”

“I know in my heart I made the right decision to go on the mission trip to Rio de Janeiro,” Hardy wrote. “Wrestling is temporary, but the faith I have in God and my religion is something that’ll stay with me forever. If given an opportunity for a do-over, I’d make the same choice every single time.”

Both wrestlers have roots in Utah. Van Tassell hails from Mapleton and Hardy is from Brigham City.

Read the full article at Huskers.com.