Mizzou holds annual Fan Day

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Once August hits, it’s all business for members of the Missouri football team.

With practices, meetings, film sessions and other mandatory team activities, there isn’t much chance for interaction with anyone outside the team.

So Sunday was a rare opportunity for the team to break away from camp and give back to their fans.

Missouri players and coaches took to Faurot Field on Sunday afternoon for the team’s annual Fan Day. Kids were able to get autographs and take pictures with their favorite players.

The idea is to give back to the youngsters, but some players seemed just as happy to be there as the fans.

“It’s cool because people just see us behind helmets and pads,” offensive lineman Evan Boehm said. “People don’t really get to see us face-to-face and realize who the Missouri Tiger football team really is. It’s easier in basketball because their face is showing on TV every single game.”

It wasn’t just an opportunity for players to spend time with fans. Many of the players as well as the coaching staff had family members in attendance.

Boehm, from Lee’s Summit, was glad for the chance to catch up with friends and family.

“I enjoy seeing my family because I’m in camp,” Boehm said. “You don’t really get to talk to them that much because of how busy you stay. You only get to see them for a short amount of time like you are right now. It’s a lot of fun.”

The chance to interact with fans is special in other ways, too. There are 62 players from Missouri on the roster this season, and many of those grew up Tiger fans, including quarterback Corbin Berkstresser.

Berkstresser, also from Lee’s Summit, spent a few moments recounting many of his memories as a young Missouri fan.

“As a kid growing up I was a Mizzou fan,” Berkstresser said. “I loved watching Chase Coffman, Chase Daniel, Corby Jones and all those guys. These kids are just like me when I was growing up.

“It’s a great time out here talking to all these (kids) and maybe they can live out a dream one day like I did.”

Notes: Offensive lineman Harneet Gill has left the team for what head coach Gary Pinkel said were personal reasons. Gill is a true freshman from Francis Howell who was listed by Rivals.com as the state’s 11th-best recruit for the Class of 2013 and was a three-star recruit. ... Missouri continues practice this week and will don full pads for the first time today. Each practice begins at 7:15 a.m. as Missouri prepares for its first scrimmage of camp Saturday morning.

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