By George Ferguson
After almost two weeks of rest, the Havre High wrestling team returns to action today as it prepares to participate in the Cut Bank Wrestling Invitational. The tournament is scheduled to get underway this afternoon at the Cut Bank High School Gymnasium.
The Ponies are coming off a solid beginning to the 2002-03 season and a good showing at the prestigious CMR Holiday Classic two weeks ago in Great Falls.
Havre finished in the top 15 at the Classic and had the second best team score among the Class A schools that participated. The Ponies got solid performances from 112-pounder Jeff Hedges as well as freshmen Gray Chagnon, sophomore Chad Seely, Greg Leyba, and 189-pound senior Nick Johnson - all of whom won several matches for the Ponies en route to their 79 team points.
The Cut Bank tournament will feature several area Class A schools like Browning from the Central A and Western A powerhouses Whitefish and Columbia Falls. Besides the host Wolves, the tournament will also feature such top Class B schools as Shelby, Conrad and Choteau. The tournament will also see several of the area's Class C schoolsl.
Hedges enters competition today as the top ranked wrestler in Class A at 112 pounds. He will be looking to reach his third straight final of the year. Hedges has lost just two matches this season, both to Great Falls High freshmen Kody Tolliver. Hedges has captured the 112-pound title at the Havre Invitational and finished second at the CMR Holiday Classic.
Havre has also been getting solid contributions from the likes of Daine Solomon and Rick Griffis, both of whom should be favored to do well this weekend.
Havre head coach Scott Filius said that those two have been competing very well so far this season.
"Daine has been wrestling really well early in the year," Filius said. "And Rick Griffis has been competing extremely hard and he is gaining quality experience every time out."
The action in Cut Bank will get under way this afternoon and run through Saturday afternoon. The Havre High junior varsity team will also be in action in Browning on Saturday.