By George Ferguson
This weekend could be one of the most important of the year for the Havre High school wrestling team as they travel to the Class A Duals in Belgrade Friday and Saturday.
The annual dual meet will feature some of the top teams in Class A wrestling and, unlike other meets on the Ponies schedule, they will only be going up against competition that they will see at the Central A Divisional tournament, as well as the State A tournament.
Pony head coach Scott Filius knows that this weekend is crucial, because it will give his team a chance to see some of the competition that they could possibly face later on.
"This is a typically a very competitive meet regardless of who is there," Filius said. "But, it is also good because it gives us a chance to see and wrestle against some teams that we haven't seen up to this point."
Havre is coming off of an eighth place finish at the Cowboy Invitational last weekend. In that tournament, Havre placed four individual wrestlers in the top six. Both Jeff Hedges and Chad Seely took fourth place while Daine Solomon and Chad Zuelke finished sixth.
Filius admits that his team is somewhat inconsistent at this point in the season, but is very happy with the way Zuelke and Solomon have been wrestling lately.
"We're up and we're down right now," Filius said. "But both Chad Zuelke and Daine Solomon have been wrestling really well the last couple of weeks and that has given us a lift."
As a warmup for the Class A Duals, the Ponies will be in action tonight in Belgrade with a pair of Central A dual matches against the Belgrade Panthers and Anaconda Copperheads.
The Central A duals begin on Friday afternoon with the tournament divided into six three-team pools. The Ponies are in pool five and are scheduled to face Ronan at 2 p.m. on Friday and Dillon at 5 p.m.
Pool one will feature Polson, Livingston and the Belgrade JV team. Pool 2 includes Libby, Butte Central and Laurel. Pool three has Corvallis, Billings Central and the host Panthers. Pool four includes Hardin, Hamilton and Anaconda. Pool six features Colstrip, Browning and Lewistown.
The Ponies have seen many of the top teams in Class A including Sidney, Colstrip and Hardin, but Filius is looking forward to seeing some of the top teams from the West at this tournament.
"I really want to see Corvallis and Polson as well as Anaconda," Filius said. "Anaconda is the only team in our conference we haven't seen and Polson and Corvallis are very good programs so it will be nice to see them in person."
The Ponies will face Belgrade tonight at 6 p.m and Anaconda at 7:30 p.m. The Class A Duals will begin tomorrow at 2 p.m. and will run through Saturday evening. All of the action will take place at the Belgrade Special Events Center.