Once the Havre High wrestling team gets rolling, it hardly slows down until the end of the season and a state champion has been crowned.
The Blue Ponies started their season last weekend with the annual Havre Invite, two solid days of wrestling, and are preparing to march into another jam-packed three-day weekend.
The Central A Ponies finished as the No. 2 team in Havre last weekend. All of the Pony wrestlers got ample matches to start the new season, and they are hoping to parlay that into team success this time around.
Today through Saturday, the Ponies will be in Butte to participate in the Butte Central Wrestling Mixer today, as well as the prestigious Mining City Duals Friday and Saturday.
The dual meet is different from a lot of tournaments the Ponies travel to during the season, because the amount of matches a certain grappler will wrestle depends on how well the team does as a whole. If the Pony team finds ample success this weekend, the HHS wrestlers will get plenty of opportunities to wrestle, and plenty of opportunities to continue to get better.
“In a dual meet format,” Havre High head coach Scott Filius said, “You really have to concentrate more on what the match score is. If you can get the major, or the tech. then you want to get it, or if you can get the pin, you want to get the pin. And on the other side of the coin, you want to make sure you aren’t giving up points at the end of the match that results in more match points for the other team. It is different, but it fun, and the kids enjoy it. I always find that it is a good learning tool for out kids.”
And if being focused is key, the Ponies better get locked in early, as they will face three mysterious, but tough teams.
Havre will face Columbia Falls at 11:30 a.m., CMR at 1:30 p.m., and Class AA powerhouse Bozeman at 5:30 p.m Friday. The only relatively familiar team is CMR, as the Rustlers competed at the Havre Invite last weekend, and proved to be tough as they finished in third place behind the Ponies in the team standings. Last season, the Ponies opened the Mining City Duals with wins over Capital, Kalispell Flathead, and Sidney. HHS also defeated Bozeman and Helane on Saturday last season, but were defeated by Billings senior 39-33.
Either way, familiar or not, the Ponies aren’t concerned with who is across the mat from them. It is still early and the main thing going into the weekend for coach Filius, is that his Ponies continue to grow and improve against top tier talent.
“All these teams are tools for us to get better," Filius said. "Our conditioning has to get better Nnumber one. And number two, at this point in the year you are hoping your kids are starting to score on the edge and scoring at the end of periods. And if they do that up and down the lineup, as well as deny points at the end of periods then we should be ok. Those are things we have emphasized this week, so hopefully we will see some payout.”
The lineup for this weekend will be slightly different from last weekend, with Grayson Brenna moving up a weight, and Thomas Gruber and Gilbert Bara moving down a weight.
Wresting for the Ponies will be, Keegan Kennelly (98), Logan Pleninger (105), Brenna (112), Dylan Stewart (119), Gruber (130), Bara (135), Gunnar Aageson (140), Kody Pribyl (145), Jordan Schroeder (152), J.T. Belcourt (160), Jacob Williams (171), Grant Pattison (189), Tyler Adams (215), and Dustin Odegard (HWT). The Ponies will be open at 125 pounds.
“We dropped a few kids down,” Filius said. “And bumped a few kids up. We are just trying to fill up the roster so that we have as many kids getting matches as we can.”
The Ponies will look to wrestle well today in preparation for the Mining City Duals, as well as on Friday against their three known opponents. On Friday, HHS will face Columbia Falls at 11:30 a.m., CMR at 1:30 p.m., and Bozeman at 5:30 p.m. Depending on how the Ponies do on Friday will determine who they face on Saturday.
Class A Wrestling Poll
Corvallis, Belgrade, Havre, Sidney, Glendive, Frenchtown, Lewistown, Anaconda, Polson, Libby.
98 — Clay Stillwagon, BC; Keegan Kennelly, HAV; Clayont Carter, LAU; Cody Warner, FRE; Kolten Starkle, DIL; Trey Smollack, ANA.
105 — Ethan Graves; SID, Logan Pleninger, HAV; Bryce Noctor, BC; Caron Meyer, ANA; R. Hotz, BEL; Eddy Day, LAU.
112 — Chase Connor, COR; Shonn Roberts, CF; Grayson Brenna, HAV,;Layne Schafer, SID; Chance Butler, DIL; L. Vicker, LEW.
119 — Gresh Jones, SID; Zach Wall, BILC; Carlos Quinones, POL; Josh Venema, COR; C. Landers, LEW; Cole Bilbrey, GLE.
125 — Tyler Olson, COR; Tate Stortz, GLE; J. Deegan, BEL; H. Grover, LEW; Dylan Moll, POL; Seth McCall, CF.
130 — Dillon Tennant, GLE; Tyler Forcella, GLE; Zach Crase, LIB; Matt Boudisk, ANA; L. Deegan, BEL; B. Armstrong, FRE.
135 — Mitch Haugen, LIB; Layne Lantis, GLE; Karson Kukes, LAU; Thomas Gruber, HAV; Mason Marvnick, ANA; Zach Hart, BC.
140 — Bryce Weatherston, BEL; Jordan Stevens, SID; Tyler kinn, BEL; Craig Feistner, POL; Cody Lemon, FRE; Keighton Butler, BC.
145 — Dillon Beeler, GLE; Zeus Rutherford, BRO; Movley Jessop, COR; Coloton Goce, CF; N. Criner, BEL; Kody Pribyl, HAV.
152 — Jim Malone, LEW; Mike Devlin, POL; Spencer Brost, SID; Zach Thompkins, HAM; Jordan Schroeder, HAV; Logan Fisher, FRE.
160 — Cole Bilbrey, GLE; K. Pickle, BEL; Wyatt Jessop, COR; Josh Bowers, LIB; Lane Poka, DIL; Levi Butkay, HAR.
171 — Ethan Blythe, LEW; B. Akers, BEL; Austin Boley, LIB; Ryder Peterson, SID; David Anderson, FRE; Tyler Schaffer, HAM.
189 — Grant Pattison, HAV; Dace Fisher, SID; Monty Jessop, COR, Sam Gordon, FRE; D. Marks, BEL; Michael Bumgartner, HAM.
215 — Sam VanBeek, BEL; Tyler Adams, HAV; James Weidou, COR; Zach Dolezal, LIB; Bryce Wihert, ANA; Isiaih Williams, POL.
HWT — Jordan Zuraff, FRE; Wolf Zinke, WF; Donovan Hucke, DIL; B. Blumenschein, BEL; T. Hall, BRO; Spencer Ross. CF.