Last weekend at the Havre Invitational, the Havre High wrestling team started the season on a positive note. They got a lot of matches in two days and made a lot of progress.
But with the season still very young, the Ponies are hoping to learn a lot more about themselves with another big weekend.
Today, Friday and Saturday, the Central A Blue Ponies will be in Butte for a mixer and the Mining City Duals. Today the Ponies will get in a few extra matches with a mixer with Hamilton, Butte Central, Park and possibly Anaconda and Corvallis. And Friday and Saturday, the Ponies will remain in Butte for the Mining City Duals, where they will face Helena Capital at 10 a.m. Friday, Flathead at 1 p.m. Friday and Sidney at 7 p.m. Friday.
Depending on how the Ponies perform on Friday will determine who they face on Saturday.
The Ponies are focused on the duals on Friday and Saturday, but today’s mixer is a good opportunity to grab a couple of extra matches.
“It will just be a couple of matches,” Havre High head coach Scott Filius said. “It is a good opportunity to shake off the cobwebs after riding down on the bus, plus they are all Class A schools so we will get to see more competition. But more than anything, it will get the kids off the buss and ready for the duals the next day.”
And with the season still in its beginning stages, the Ponies are still a work in progress. They have a lot of young names on the roster and are still improving with every practice and match. This meant the preparation for this weekend was focused more on what the Ponies are doing, more than what their opponents will do. And with Helena Capital, Sidney and Flathead basically a mystery to HHS, that was all the more reason for a narrowed focus.
“We just need to get in shape,” Filius said. “We are working on what we can do without an opponent in mind. We are just working at getting better at every phase right now, we are trying to teach the young kids how to work hard and the older kids are doing a great job at that, while some of the younger kids are jumping on board.”
This weekend's lineup houses a lot of experience and youth. But if they can perform like they did in week one of the season, they will also find a lot of success in Butte.
Wrestling will be Grayson Brenna (98), Dylan Stewart (105), Nate Kennelly (112), Dustin Seely (119), Thomas Gruber (125), Gunner Aageson (130), Matt Emge (135), Dillon Seely (140), Jordan Schroeder (145), Eli Hinebauch (152), Kameron Pribyl (160), Grant Pattison (171), Casey Schaub (189), Tyler Adams (215) and Dustin Odegard (215). Gruber dropped from 130 pounds last weekend, and either Odegard or Adams will wrestle at 285 pounds when necessary.
“That is the varsity crew for right now,” Filius said. “There are a couple of young guys on there and hopefully they continue to earn their spot. It is still early in the year and most of those aren’t set, but we are getting closer.
“This is a great weekend,” Filius added. “Your team advances as a team, so that means if you get seven duals, your kids all get seven duals. We get a lot of mat time and after this weekend we will have a pretty good idea of what we got. Normally after you come out of Butte you have a pretty good feeling on what your team needs to do, whether you have the potential to make a run at it or don’t.”
Today the Ponies will compete in a small mixer with Park, Butte Central and Hamilton, and Friday-Saturday, the Ponies will compete in the Mining City Duals in Butte where they've finished in the top three for the last six years.