The weekend’s matchups got shuffled around a bit for the Havre High wrestling program, but even with one team less than expected, and quite a few forfeits, the Blue Ponies still survived senior night with a nice win.
Friday night at the Havre High gymnasium, the Blue Ponies were set to host Conrad and Forsyth for two non-conference duals. But when Conrad was forced to cancel the trip, Friday’s action came down to just the Ponies and Dogies.
The Ponies grabbed the narrow, 45-36 win over the top Class B-C program in the state, sending the HHS seniors off with a win.
“We knew they (Forsyth) were going to be tough,” Havre High senior Dillon Seely said. “They have pretty good wrestlers throughout the entire lineup. We just kept our heads right, came in and competed hard.
“The bad thing bout Conrad not being here,” Havre High head coach Scott Filius added. “Is that some had kids not get a match. If we had both Conrad and Forsyth here, between the two of them we would have all gotten matches. Forsyth had some kids out of their lineup too, so everybody had kids moved around, but it was still a good opportunity for the kids who did wrestle.”
For HHS, Grayson Brenna (98), Eli Hinebauch (152), Grant Pattison (189) and Casey Schaub (215) all earned wins by forfeit. And though it was by forfeit, Hinebauch kept his undefeated streak alive in his senior season. But the Dogies also earned a few wins by forfeit, with the Ponies being open at 112 pounds, 125 pounds and 140 pounds.
To start the dual, the Ponies took an early 9-0 lead, but really had to battle from behind to get the win.
Brenna won by forfeit, but Dylan Stewart (105) followed with solid win by decision. Stewart went down 2-0 in the first period, but turned things around in the second and third, resulting in an 8-5 decision. But moving forward, HHS dropped six straight matches.
The Dogies won by forfeit at 112-pounds, and Dustin Seely (119) lost in a 12-4 major decision. The Dogies picked up another forfeit at 125-pounds, while Thomas Gruber (130) was defeated in a 13-4 major decision. And Matt Emge (135) was pinned in 2:34, while Forsyth picked up yet another forfeit at 140-pounds to take a commanding 32-9 lead over the Ponies.
But the Blue Ponies rebounded nicely, moving on to win six of the last seven matches.
HHS earned their forfeit wins at 152, 189 and 215-pounds, but Dillon Seely (145), Jayson Kohler (160) and Tyler Adams (285) were all able to earn wins for the Ponies. Kameron Pribyl (171) put up a fight, but didn’t come out on top for HHS
Dillon Seely earned a pin in 4:34, and Kohler picked up a pin in 3:57. Pribyl really went after his opponent, Daryl Fulton, but lost an 11-1 major decision. Adams finished off the night with a pin in just 25 seconds.
“I don’t think there was any surprises,” FIlius said. “I was really pleased with Dylan Stewart, he went out and wrestled very competitively and that was nice to see. Maybe earlier in the year he wouldn’t have been able to pull that out, but instead he wrestled tough and dictated the temp, so I was pleased with that.
“And between Gruber and Pribyl,” Filius added. “We are wrestling those kids up against kids that are state champs, and we are in the matches. We get beat, but those are the matches they improve on.”
Pribyl defeated Fulton last season when Forsyth came to town.
Overall it was a good outing for the HHS grapplers that were able to wrestle on Friday. They wrestled well in the wins as well as losses, and seniors like Dillon Seely recognized just how special the night was.
“This was a special moment,” Seely said. “And it felt good getting a win in front of the home crowed. And I am always looking to help the team out, so it was even better knowing that I helped get us a team win as well.”
The Blue Ponies will now turn their attention to the postseason. First up is their quest to capture the Central A title. Havre travels to the Central A Divisional Saturday in Belgrade.
Havre 45, Forsyth 36
98 – Grayson Brenna, HAV won by forfeit; 105 – Dylan Stewart, HAV dec. Colt McDaniel, 8-5; 112 – Matt Weber, FOR pinned Nate Kennelley, 1:49; 119 – Gabe Nelson, FOR maj. dec. Dustin Seely, 12-4; 125 – Nick Pulver, FOR won by forfeit; 130 – Tayler French, FOR maj. dec. Thomas Gruber, 13-4; 135 – Brandon Weber, FOR pinnedMatt Emge, 2:34; 140 – Chris Nile, FOR won by forfeit; 145 – Dillon Seely, HAV pinned K.C. French, 4:34; 152 – Eli Hinebauch, HAV won by forfeit; 160 – Jayson Kohler, HAV pinned Cody Lawson, 3:57; 171 – Daryl Fulton, FOR maj. dec. Kameron Pribyl, 11-1; 189 – Grant Pattison, HAV won by forfeit; 215 – Casey Schaub, HAV won by forfeit; 285 – Tyler Adams, HAV pinned Dylan Bell, :25.