State wrestling: Tuttle's Zachary Beard chasing fourth state championship

Tuttle wrestling coach Matt Surber hasn't worried much the last four years about Zachary Beard on the mat. He's had to worry about Zachary Beard on a wakeboard.
by Ed Godfrey Published: February 21, 2013
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photo - Tuttle wrestler Zachary Beard poses in the high school wrestling room on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 in Tuttle , Okla.  He is the highest ranked Oklahoma wrestler nationally and will likely win his fourth state wrestling championship this weekend.   Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Tuttle wrestler Zachary Beard poses in the high school wrestling room on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 in Tuttle , Okla. He is the highest ranked Oklahoma wrestler nationally and will likely win his fourth state wrestling championship this weekend. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

Even with all that tradition, Beard may be the greatest wrestler to ever come from Tuttle.

That debate usually includes Beard, Steve Schmidt (a three-time All-American at Oklahoma State), Trent London (a juco national champion), Ryan Martin, (a national champion at the University of Central Oklahoma) and Jeff (a two-time All-American at UCO) and Ryan Henning, both four-time state champs.

“I get that question all the time,” Surber said. “He is awfully good. I would hate to take anything away from those other guys. All that stuff is up for debate. I don't know whether he is the best or not. That has yet to be seen.”

Beard has signed with Wyoming after originally committing to Oklahoma State. He changed his mind last summer after taking a visit to Wyoming, where former Tuttle wrestler Shane Woods is starting.

“I was just kind of on vacation,” Beard said of the trip. “I liked the atmosphere, the styles of practice. It just fits me more than Oklahoma State.”

When Beard won his first state championship as a freshman, Surber knew he would have a special career. Beard defeated a senior and defending state champ in the state title match after beating him the week before in the regional finals.

“That was pretty remarkable,” Surber said. “He has always been able to rise to the occasion. The tougher the match, the tougher the opponent, the better he is.”

After injuring his knee on a wakeboard last summer, Beard has decided to quit trying to do so many crazy tricks.

“I cut it down,” said Beard, who used to enter local wakeboard tournaments. “I try not to do it competitively now. It's more of a fun thing now than a sport.

“Wrestling is my future. I had to cut it out. I just do the more routine kind of things now.”

by Ed Godfrey
Reporter Sr.
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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OKLAHOMA HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS

When: Friday and Saturday

Where: State Fair Arena

Session 1: First round, all classes, begins at 10:30 a.m. Friday.

Session 2: First round consolations begin at 5 p.m. Friday. Semifinals begin at 7:15 p.m. Friday.

Session 3: Consolation semifinals begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Consolation finals begin at 12:45 p.m. Saturday.

Session 4: Finals begins at 5:45 p.m. Saturday with opening ceremonies at 5 p.m.

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