By Rob Everingham
The Havre Blue Ponies now head to the other side of the state to take on teams in the east.
This weekend, the Blue Ponies will head to Miles City for the Cowboy Invitational.
Havre is coming off a very successful second-place finish last weekend at Cut Bank. Columbia Falls finished first at the invite.
This week, the Ponies will see different competition in Sidney, Laurel, and Hardin all in attendance.
Blue Ponies' head coach Scott Filius said last weekend's performance has given his wrestlers a lot of confidence, which he hopes they can carry into this weekend.
Twelve of the 15 varsity wrestlers placed at the Cut Bank Invite.
Chad Hedges (119) notched the highest finish, placing second last weekend.
Nick Newell (105) and Nick Holt (130) each scored third-place finishes.
Travis Velk (112), Chad Maney (125), Jacob Szudera (135), and Willie Hulett (171) placed fourth at Cut Bank.
Ryan Chagnon (98), Cody Hanson (140), Aaron Jensen (145), KP Fisher (160), and CJ Reichelt (189), each scored fifth-place finishes.
This weekend, however, Havre will be without Velk at 112 pounds, who is staying home for personal reasons, Filius said.
"That will hurt us a little bit," Filius said.
Filius said he would like to perform well this weekend against the eastern teams.
If the Blue Ponies do well this weekend, Filius said, it should put them in a better position in the run for another state title.
The Blue Ponies have already squared off against Sidney at the Mining City Duals in December.
Havre won that dual 45-26, but, Filius said, Sidney was without some of their top wrestlers and those athletes will be back this weekend, and the Eagles will be tougher.
Last year at the Cowboy Invitational, the Blue Ponies won the meet.
In the championship round, Hedges placed first at 105 pounds, and Newell placed second at 98 pounds.
Fisher, who wrestled at 145 pounds, and Holt, who was a mere 125, placed third, and Maney at 119, placed third.
Practice this week for the Blue Ponies has been tough.
Filius said it is finals week and the wrestlers are making up tests because they will not be in school on Friday.
"Practices were not great this week," Filius said.
Filius said, though, that is the price you have to pay, and that school is more important than wrestling.
Competition starts at 9 a.m. on Friday morning at Miles City High School.