With two major tournaments already behind the Havre High wrestling team, the load doesn’t get much lighter tonight. Instead of dozens of schools and hundreds of wrestlers, the Central A Ponies will face one very talented Class AA squad on the road.
Tonight at 6 p.m., the No. 2 Class A Ponies will dual the No. 2 Class AA Great Falls High Bison in Great Falls.
This will be the third time the Ponies and Bison cross paths this season, but the first in a dual format. The most recent meeting came last weekend at the CMR Holiday Classic. The Bison finished as the No. 1 team with 243 points, while the Ponies finished as the No. 2 team with 205.5 points.
“There will mismatches that go our way,” Havre High head coach Scott Filius said. “And mismatches that go their’s, but it is fun to wrestle those guys. We see them all summer long and we travel with them, so it is always fun to go down there and face them.”
The lineup is nearly the same as last weekend for HHS, with the addition of Logan Pleninger at 105 pounds. The Ponies won’t be open at any weight, and making up the rest of the lineup will be, Keegan Kennelly (98), Dylan Stewart (119), Dylan Carpenter (125), Thomas Gruber (130), Gilbert Bara (135), Gunnar Aageson (140), Kody Pribyl (145), Jordan Schroeder (152), JT Belcourt (160), Jake Williams (171), Grant Pattison (189), Tyler Adams (215) and Dustin Odegard (HWT).
The Bison lineup up is also stacked with a lot of solid talent, including Blade Massey (98), Jarren Komac (105), Tommy McMillen (112), Casey Dobson (119), Kenton Evans (125), Austin Shupe (130), Brenden Swartz (135), Kessler Leonard (140), Gage Bentley (145), Walker Ferda (152), Cody Henderson (160), Nate Williams (171), Eric Weaver (189), Roberto Smith (215) and Lane Urick (HWT). Komac and Shupe are both undefeated on the season and are coming off of Holiday Classic individual titles as well.
“We match up well with them,” Filius said. “And duals are a match-up deal and we both have competitive teams, so we will just have to see how things turn out. They have experience, they are a young team, but they have some time under their belts. Overall they are coached well and compete hard.
“We are just worried about getting our guys better,” Filius added. “Not individual matchups. There will be good matches up and down the lineup, but we are just out to get better. We have been working on getting better on the bottom, and we have. We want to continue that, but we are coming out of a couple tough weekends, and this is a chance to get better all around, and get a little competition before we head into the break.”
The Ponies and Bison will face off tonight at 7 in Great Falls. Tonight is Havre’s final competition until Jan. 4-5 when the Ponies compete at the Cut Bank Invitational.