Havre Daily News
The Havre High wrestling team will once again match up against some of the best that Class A has to offer in the Class A Duals this weekend in Lewistown.
Although the tournament will be missing some big contenders like Sidney, Frenchtown and Whitefish, the Ponies will still have a good opportunity to measure themselves against quality opponents as they prepare for the state tournament, which is slowly creeping up on the horizon.
Every team in Class A is invited to the tournament, but only 16 teams are scheduled to compete. Chief among those besides the No. 2 Blue Ponies will be the No. 3 Libby Loggers, who could present the stiffest challenge for the top spot.
“To be honest, the tournament is not as strong as it has been in the past,” HHS head coach Scott Filius said. “Libby will probably be the strongest team there besides us, and we need to get a look at some of the individuals from Libby, so it will be a good test.”
The teams will be spilt up into four pools of four teams and they will compete in a round-robin format, with the top two teams from each pool advancing into the championship round. The championship round will consist of eight teams going head-to-head in a single- elimination tournament.
Havre's pool will include Hamilton, Belgrade and Hardin. None of the three teams should pose a real threat to the Ponies as far as total team points go. However, there may be some intriguing individual matchups that could take place.
“Each team has some solid individuals such as the kid from Hardin who was a state champion last year,” Filius said. “And Hamilton has a couple of tough kids. But overall none of them are really strong.”
The Ponies will have to deal with Brandon Uffelman from Hardin, who is a defending state champion. He was defeated last weekend at the Cowboy Invitational by Havre's own Mike Hipple, but Hipple, who normally mans the 119-pound weight class for the Ponies, will give way to Billy Wagner, who will take over that spot in the lineup at least at the start of the tournament.
The Ponies also have a few other changes to their lineup, at least to start things out, but wrestlers will be shuffled in and out of the lineup throughout the tournament.
Chad Ranes will start in place of Loren Mack in the 112-pound weight class. Nate Harada will move down to 125 pounds in place of Beau LaSalle. Ethan Hinebauch will move down to 130 pounds, and Clint Bradbury will step in at 135 pounds this week.
The Havre lineup will still include a lot of regulars such as defending state champions Evan Hinebauch and Matt Schnittgen, who wrestle at 171 pounds and 275 pounds, respectively. In addition to being defending state champions, neither wrestler has lost a match yet this year and both will look to continue their streaks this weekend.
At 215 pounds will be Cody Seely, who has been wrestling very well as of late and should be a solid contributor in the Ponies quest for the title this weekend.
At 105 pounds Myles Mazurkiewicz, who burst on the scene with his impressive performances at both the CMR Holiday Classic and the Cut Bank Invitational, has turned into a consistent point-scorer for the Ponies.
Last weekend the Ponies had three vacant spots in their lineup. Filling those vacant spots will be Aaron Olson at 140 pounds, Jeff Crawford at 152 pounds, and Logan Gjesdal at 160 pounds.
Rounding out the Pony lineup will be impressive freshman Philip Sutherland, who will wrestle this week at 145 pounds after wrestling last week at 140 pounds. At 189 pounds will be mainstay Chris Buskirk.
The Class A duals will begin Friday morning in Lewistown and will run through Saturday night.