Daniel Horton Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
At yet another major tournament, the Havre High wrestling program continued its dominance over the competition. Friday and Saturday, the Central A Blue Ponies were in Great Falls for the 32nd annual C.M. Russell Holiday Wrestling Classic. And after being the threetime defending champion of said tournament, the Ponies proudly claimed their fourth straight title this weekend. “We went down there with the expectation to win it,” Havre High head coach Scott Filius said. “But we didn’t know how well we were going to do. You are always pleased with the results when you win, but I was pleased with the effort. I was pleased with the kids, even with the matches we lost.” HHS finished the two-day event with 198.5 points, while Belgrade finished No. 2 with 96.5 points. Kalispell Glacier finished No. 3 with 90 and Great Falls High No. 4 with 81.5. Chinook captured the No. 11 spot with 67.5 points. On Friday the Ponies jumped out to a solid lead and were able to hold it. They finished day one with 116.5 points, while Belgrade was in second with 96.5. Kalispell Glacier was also holding down the No. 3 spot with 90 points. “Honestly I wasn’t keeping track of the team score,” Filius said. “I was keeping track of each individual kids' scores. We were just trying to wrestle as well as we could and we figured the team scores would take care of themselves, and that’s kinda how it worked.” As a whole, the HHS program is Class A powerhouse. But as usual, there were some very talented individuals making headlines. The Ponies had six kids in the semifinal round, and eight in the top six overall. “I was pleased with the kids scoring points,” Filius said. “Some of them we just got beat by better kids, and some we could have wrestled better. We just have to improve those, but I was pleased.” Dillon Seely (130) and Kameron Pribyl (160) both earned No. 6 finishes in their respective weight classes. Seely lost the fifth-place match by a 5-3 decision to Bozemans’s Taylor Anderson, while Pribyl was defeated by Belgrade’s Jordan Malarchick in an 8-5 decision. Eli Hinebauch (145) earned the Ponies' only third-place finish with a 5-3 decision over Lewistown standout Rex Martin. Brett Normandy (125) and Casey Schaub (171) both made the third-place round and locked up No. 4 finishes. Normandy was at the losing end of a 14-10 decision, and Schaub was pinned by Adam Debruycker of Choteau. Kent Pattison (152) pulled in a No. 2 finish after making the championship round on Saturday. And in a close matchup, Pattison was uprooted in a 3-2 decision. Duell Stadel (105) achieved a No. 1 finish with a 9-1 decision over Conrad’s Luke Schlosser. And Mitch Schnittgen continued his dominance with a pin over Tucker Erickson of Helena High in 2:41. Schnittgen also earned the weekend Quick Pin award. In Stadel’s championship win, he defeated last year's state champion with almost no problem. Schnittgen once again dominated everybody, and Pattison defeated a state champion in Micky Cheff in the semifinals. “You always want your kids to wrestle well on the big stage,” Filius said. “And this was as big as we get until state. We just wrestled really well against good kids and I was pleased to see it.” Overall the Ponies saw overwhelming success once again. Stadel (105) went 5-0 on the weekend while Zack Smith dropped down to 112 pounds and was 2-1 on Friday, but didn’t continue after getting sick. Mathew Emge (119) went 0-2 and Normandy (125) went 4-2 on the weekend. Dillon Seely (130) went 3-3 while Riley Harwood went 0-2. Tyson Gruber (140) went 3-2 while Hinebauch (145) went 5-1. Pattison (152) and Pribyl (160) went 4-2 and 4-3 overall. Casey Schaub (171) was 3-2 and Josh Salapich (189) was 0-2, while Jared Ruttofsky (215) was 5-2. And heavyweight Schnittgen continued his undefeated season and finished the weekend 5-0. “It was a milestone for the kids and it was a good effort on their part,” Filius said. "It’s nice to beat some of the bigger schools, but honestly I think some of the best wrestlers in the B and C schools. Just to be competing is good.” The Chinook Sugarbeeters turned in another good weekend of wrestling as well. The Beeters finished with 122.5 points, and captured the No. 7 spot overall. Robert Stroh (160) pinned Mitch Rohrback of CMR in 1:15 for the No. 1 spot, while Benjamin Stroh (171) pinned Levi Cade of Belgrade in 3:44. Jorrell Jones captured a No. 2 spot after a 15-8 decision loss to Cut Bank’s Brock Calvi. Willie Miller also gave the Beeters a No. 3 finish when he pinned Micky Cheff of Ronan in :59. Harlem's Trent Jones also won the 189-pound title. The Ponies are back in action Tuesday in Glasgow.