Tuttle's Zach Beard, Heritage Hall's Finn Higgins find home with Wyoming wrestling program

Zach Beard and Finn Higgins felt right at home in Wyoming. It's for that reason the two Oklahoma wrestling state champions will continue their wrestling careers as freshman for the Cowboys this season.
by Trent Shadid Published: August 4, 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

Zach Beard and Finn Higgins felt right at home in Wyoming.

It's for that reason the two Oklahoma wrestling state champions will continue their wrestling careers as freshman for the Cowboys this season.

Higgins made a special connection with the coaching staff early into his senior year at Heritage Hall, months before winning the Class 3A state title at 182 pounds.

“I took my visit pretty early on last year and I really, really liked the coaches,” Higgins said. “I could just tell they're really good people and they're kind of like me. I got the sense that they're similar to me in some ways, as far our personality goes. I felt really wanted there.”

For Beard, it was the similarities to his hometown that made Wyoming his choice. The four-time state champion ended his high school career as the top-ranked wrestler in the nation at 170 pounds.

“I feel like it's the same atmosphere as Tuttle,” said Beard after winning his fourth Class 4A state title in February. “They bond, and they're really close. I like the coaches and everything. I feel like I'm going to accomplish a lot there.”

Wyoming coach Mark Branch is a Newkirk native, and was a two-time national champion at Oklahoma State. Like Branch, assistant coaches Chris Pendleton, Ethan Kyle, and Clayton Foster all wrestled under John Smith at Oklahoma State.


by Trent Shadid
Copy Editor
Trent Shadid is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Weatherford, Okla., and attended Weatherford High School. Before joining The Oklahoman, he spent two seasons as an assistant wrestling coach at Weatherford High...
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