Havre Daily News
The Havre High wrestling team returns to action tonight as the Ponies take on Class B Cut Bank in a dual that is its first competition since the end of the holiday break.
At the end of last month the Ponies earned a good finish at the CMR Holiday Classic, and closed out the year with a narrow dual victory over Lewistown.
Tonight, Havre will take on a tough Cut Bank roster with several wrestlers who have performed well this season, including Josh Harrison, Alex Calvi and Buck Lunak. The trio all placed at the CMR tournament last month.
Harrison, who wrestles in the 119- pound weight class, will take on Havre's Loren Mack in a match that will be key to the outcome of the dual. This is the kind of match Cut Bank is going to have to win if it wants to have a chance at knocking off the Ponies.
At 189 pounds, Calvi, who is a defending state champion and finished first at CMR, will take on Evan Hinebauch of the Ponies in what should be the feature match of the night. Hinebauch is undefeated this season and was a champion at 171 pounds in Great Falls.
Lunak will take on Havre's Ethan Hinebauch at 130 pounds in another key match.
“They have some solid wrestlers,” HHS head coach Scott Filius said of the visiting Wolves.
The Ponies will have a young, inexperienced lineup against Cut Bank and will look to gain valuable mat time.
“We are going to have eight freshmen in the lineup this week,” Filius said. “The young guys just need to get some mat time and they will keep getting better.”
At 98 pounds, the Ponies will send out Chris Riccio. Wrestling at 105 pounds will be Ryan Shelstad, who will look to continue his solid season thus far.
In the 112-pound weight class, freshman Myles Mazurkiewicz will start, and Havre will have Mike Hipple back at 125. Hipple, who is a defending state champion, has been injured during the first part of the year and looks to make up for the time he missed.
Wrestling in the 135-pound class is Clint Bradbury. At 140 pounds is freshman Phillip Sutherland.
Aaron Olson will wrestly at 145-pounds, Jeff Crawford at 152, and freshman Logan Gjesdal is stepping into the varsity lineup for the first time this week at 160 pounds.
Chris Buskirk will start at 171 pounds, wrestling at 215 pounds is Cody Seely, and at heavyweight Matt Schnittgen will look to keep up the dominance he has shown throughout the early part of the season.
Overall, Filius is pleased with the development of the young wrestlers on the team because it not only helps things out this year, but it makes for a bright future for Blue Pony wrestling.
“I am happy with the way our young guys have wrestled,” he said. “They have done a fine job all year and they just need some more experience.”
So, tonight is a big opportunity for some young wrestlers who are just looking for a chance as well as a big opportunity for a team looking to gain some early momentum to open the new year.
“I would think that we would come out and have some success against these guys,” Filius said. “We moved around some guys and I think that we should do well and gain some good experience.”