Havre High state champions Evan Hinebauch and Beau LaSalle decide to continue their mat careers at MSU-Northern
Chris Peterson Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
The future just got a little brighter for the Montana State University- Northern wrestling program. On Wednesday, MSU-N head coach Dan Troupe announced that the Lights have signed Havre High School standouts Evan Hinebauch and Beau LaSalle to NAIA letters of intent. Hinebauch capped off his remarkable career at HHS this past season by going 49-0 and capturing his third consecutive Class A state championship, while wrestling at 189 pounds. LaSalle’s achievements at HHS include four Top 5 finishes at the state tournament, highlighted by a state championship this year in the 135-pound weight class. “I think Evan is going to have a great impact on our program and the same goes for Beau,” Troupe said. “Getting two athletes of this quality shows that we are headed in the right direction and gives us something to build around.” Hinebauch is a blue-chip prospect that received interest from national wrestling powers Iowa and Iowa State, as well as other NCAA Division I schools like Wyoming and Old Dominion, before deciding to sign with Northern. “There was a lot of pressure, but I decided to come to Northern because it has a great tradition,” Hinebauch said. “I have coaches that went there and won national championships and I want to win national championships like they did.” Hinebauch lost just nine matches throughout the course of his high school career, including just two during his final three seasons. He was also a key member of the Ponies’ 2007 state championship team. Havre captured its first state title in six years back in February in Billings. National interest in Hinebauch recently after impressive performances at the Rocky Mountain National tournament, where he defeated highly-touted prospect Sonny Young on his way to the 189-pound title. Hinebauch also placed sixth at the Seniors National tournament. “(Evan) is a Division I level athlete that decided to stay in Montana instead of going off to big school like Iowa or Iowa State,” Troupe said. “He is one of the best wrestlers in the country between 174 and 184 pounds.” Hinebauch’s athletic success was not just limited to wrestling. He was also a standout football player at HHS. As a senior, he earned Class A All-State honors at fullback and linebacker and was also a Tribune Super State selection. However, Hinebauch will not continue his football career at the collegiate level, planning instead to focus solely on wrestling. “I just decided not to play football because wrestling is my best sport.” he said. Meanwhile, LaSalle, also a senior at HHS, decided to sign with the Lights after receiving interest from the University of Great Falls, Dickinson State and North Idaho College. “I am really excited about it,” LaSalle said when asked about signing with MSU-N. “Northern has a great tradition of success and I have the support of my family and the community.” LaSalle reached the state semifinals in each of his first three seasons at HHS and placed fourth as a freshmen, fifth as a sophomore and third as a junior. LaSalle reached the pinnacle of high school wrestling in February when he won a 130-pound state championship, to go along with his one-and-only team title. Like Hinebauch, LaSalle also starred on the gridiron, earning all-conference and all-state honors on defense as a safety, as well as all-conference honorable mention at tailback. LaSalle is also successful in the classroom. He has a 3.1 grade point average and plans to pursue a career in physical therapy. “We will have to see how Beau develops and matures over the next couple years, but I think he is going to have an impact,” Troupe said. “He is a great kid, he works hard and he has great leadership skills. “I think that it’s really exciting for our program to get a couple of kids like Evan and Beau,” he added. “They are both great kids, and the best part about it is that they are local kids that decided to stay at home where they already have a support system in place.” Hinebauch and LaSalle will follow in the footsteps of their HHS head coach Scott Filius, who was a national championship wrestler at Northern in 1993. “Obviously for my own selfish reasons I am happy to see both of them stay here to wrestle,” Filius said. “But those guys both have the work ethic and the talent and I believe that they both have a tremendous upside.” Northern finished in the Top 10 at the NAIA national tournament last month in Sioux City, Iowa, and the Lights return a wealth of talent next season.