Havre Daily News
The Havre High wrestling team will return home this weekend for a dual against Class B power Conrad, as the Ponies look to rebound from a disappointing weekend at the Class A duals in Lewistown.
The dual is the final tuneup for the Ponies before they head to the Central A divisional tournament next week in Belgrade.
“Conrad is a real good wrestling team,” HHS head coach Scott Filius said. “They are by far the best overall team in the Class B-C ranks and they will be a good test for us.”
The Ponies and Cowboys are already very familiar with each other, as they have faced off against each other more than a few times in tournaments already this season. The teams also squared off in a dual last year in Conrad that the Ponies won, giving the Cowboys a little extra motivation heading into Saturday night's dual.
“We have been able to see each other in tournaments this year and our kids have went head-to-head and we have been able to beat them,” Filius said. “They have moved some kids around, though, and they are just going to give us fits. Especially because the areas that they are really strong in we are not as strong.”
The Ponies' lineup looks strong this week, as they are getting closer to being back to full strength.
Ryan Shelstad will man the 98-pound weight class and will look to build upon a solid season.
At 105 pounds the Ponies have Myles Mazurekiewicz, who has wrestled extremely well this year for a freshman, winning some prestigious individual titles along the way.
The Ponies will also have all three of their defending state champion wrestlers in the lineup this weekend against Conrad, led by Matt Schnittgen in the heavyweight class. Schnittgen is still unbeaten on the season and has dominated all year long for the Ponies.
Havre will have senior Mike Hipple back at 119 pounds, and he has wrestled well since returning from an injury. At 171 pounds is Evan Hinebauch, who suffered his first defeat of the season last weekend in Lewistown. He will be looking to get back on track with a strong performance against the Cowboys.
Wrestling at 125 pounds will be Nathan Harada, who has wrestled well of late, and at 130 pounds will be Beau LaSalle, a consistent point-getter for the Ponies all year.
Other key contributors to the lineup are Cody Seely at 215 pounds and Loren Mack at 112 pounds.
Rounding out the lineup for the Ponies is Clint Bradbury at 135 pounds, Philip Sutherland at 140 pounds, Aaron Olson at 145 pounds, Jeff Crawford at 152 pounds, Curtis Shandorf at 160 pounds and Chris Buskirk at 189 pounds.
The Cowboys counter with several B-C state champions of their own, including Scott Schlosser (98), Colby Johnson (140), Thad Zempel (145) and Trent Zempel (160).
The Ponies know that if they want to be contenders for the state championship this season, they have a lot of improvement to make. They are excited about the opportunity to wrestle a quality opponent like Conrad.
“When you wrestle Conrad, you know you are wrestling quality people,” Filius said. “They are a good team from top to bottom and it's nice that we don't have to turn around and face them again in two weeks or something, and that's really to our benefit.
“I think that the kids are going to come back strong,” he added. “We expect to win, but in order to win we are going to have to wrestle very well to beat them.”
The Ponies will take on Conrad at 7 p.m. on Saturday night at the HHS gymnasium.