Boaz Beard climbs rankings, continues consistency


Photo: Jonathan Krueger/Iowa State Daily

Redshirt sophomore Boaz Beard takes North Dakota State wrestler Mac Stoll’s leg out from under him in the 184-pound match of Iowa State’s 22-18 win on Dec. 16 at Hilton Coliseum. Beard won his match 7-5.

Jake Calhoun

Boaz Beard doesn’t care about rankings.

While many wrestlers will give the premeditated “I don’t care about rankings” answer as a knee-jerk reaction to an inquiry about the quantitative aspects of an upcoming match, Beard really doesn’t care whether he’s ranked higher or lower than his opponent.

Even though Beard has jumped from No. 19 to 15 in Intermat’s 184-pound rankings in the past two weeks, all he cares about is wrestling.

“I’ve just never been a guy to look at stats and all that stuff,” Beard said. “When you step on the mat, it’s not [about] how good the other guy is, it’s [about how] you want to impose your will on that guy. You want to step on the mat and wrestle your match and not let him take control of the match.”

One year removed from his transfer back to Iowa State after playing baseball at Emporia State — a Division II school in Emporia, Kan., — Beard said he is bigger and stronger for this season.

Last season, Beard finished second in the 184-pound bracket of the Big 12 Championships before going 0-2 at the NCAA Championships in St. Louis.

Now as a redshirt junior, Beard’s prowess in the wrestling room has influenced his younger teammates.

“We wrestle different styles so I can help him, he can help me with different setups, different attacks, stuff like that,” said 174-pounder Tanner Weatherman, who is also one of Beard’s roommates. “I can really ask him anything when it comes to wrestling.”

Ever since earning a starting spot at 184 pounds last season, Beard chose his walkout song at Hilton Coliseum to be Johnny Cash’s “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.”

The steady, mellowing beat complements Beard’s demeanor before every match and creates an intimidating atmosphere for his opponent.

“I just like the slow beat in the song — it keeps me relaxed, keeps me calmed down,” Beard said. “I don’t like to get real riled up before matches.”

In his most recent outing at Hilton, Beard “cut down” then-No. 10 Chris Chionuma by an 8-2 decision in Iowa State’s 25-9 dual loss to No. 2 Oklahoma State.

“He won a big match; that put him as the No. 1 seed basically going into the Big 12s at this time,” said ISU coach Kevin Jackson of Beard.

If Beard continues his winning ways — he is 4-1 since a shaky 2-2 showing at the Midlands — then he can only expect to climb in the rankings.

However, he still doesn’t care about that.