Chris Peterson Havre Daily News email@example.com
For the first time in over 15 years, the Havre High wrestling team will go back to Missoula to compete in the prestigious Rocky Mountain Classic. Havre heads to Missoula this weekend on the heels of an impressive first-place victory at the Cut Bank Invitational, a tournament where the Pony wrestlers compiled a spectacular seven individual titles. The top-ranked Blue Ponies will compete against a field of 20 teams this weekend in Missoula, including a number of Class AA teams headlined by Kalispell, Great Falls High and CMR. The event also features almost every team from the Western A Division with Dillon, Corvallis, Frenchtown, Whitefish and others. Six teams from the state of Washington will also compete in the event, with a number of teams from the Spokane area making the trip. “We are going to face some pretty good competition this weekend,” HHS head coach Scott Filius said. “Part of the reason we wanted to compete in the Rocky Mountain Classic instead of at Miles City like we normally do is because the fact that so many Western A teams will be competing. “There is also going to be some very competitive teams from Washington,” he added. “So it will be a really good challenge for us.” Havre High has finished first in every event the Ponies have competed in this year except for one, and they have not lost this season when competing in the state of Montana. The Ponies will look to keep that streak alive this weekend with their main competition coming from defending Rocky Mountain champion Kalispell. “I think they are probably the favorite going into it,” Filius said. “But we think that we have a pretty good team too, and we are not going to concede anything to them. I think that both teams are pretty talented. Both teams have a lot of depth and are both pretty tough. I am not saying that we are going to go down there and whip them or anything, but I like our chances.” Competing in a new event will give Blue Pony stars Matt Schnittgen and Evan Hinebauch a chance to add another title to their already stellar resumes. Hinebauch will man the 189-pound weight class for the Ponies and Schnittgen will take his usual spot in the heavyweight division. Both wrestlers are ranked No. 1 in Class A and both are undefeated on the season. Other standout wrestlers that will contend for an individual title this weekend are Chris Recio at 98 pounds, ranked No. 1, Ryan Shelstad, who is No. 1 at 105 pounds, Myles Mazurkiewicz, ranked first at 125 pounds, Beau LaSalle, ranked second at 130 pounds, Ethan Hinebauch, ranked second at 145 pounds and Chris Buskirk, ranked third at 215 pounds. Other wrestlers that will be competing this weekend for the Ponies include, top-ranked Logan Reichelt in the 140-pound weight class, Curtis Shandorf, ranked fourth in the 160- pound weight class as well Phillip Sutherland, ranked second at 160 pounds. Billy Wagner, ranked fourth at 135 pounds will also start for HHS. Loren Mack will be at 119 pounds and freshman Brett Normandy will go at 112 pounds. Both Mack and Shandorf are returning to the lineup this weekend for the Ponies after missing some time due to injury. Havre will have an open spot this weekend in the 171- pound weight class. “I think that if we could go out and win this weekend it would be a really good accomplishment for our team,” Filius said. “I think that only a few teams have a legitimate chance to probably go out and win the tournament and if we want to win it we are going to have to compete really hard and wrestle pretty well. “ The Rocky Mountain Classic will kick off on Friday morning in Missoula with the action getting under way at 10 a.m. The event will run through Saturday night.