By Rob Everingham
It was a night of goodbyes and the start of a new tradition as the Havre High School wrestling team had their awards banquet Monday at Havre High.
In an introduction, Havre High School Athletic Director Charlie Klimas said this was the end of the season. Head coach Scott Filius corrected him, saying the season was not over. The wrestlers now start freestyle, followed by summer camps and then lifting weights in the fall.
"The season is never over," Filius said.
All 14 members of the Havre High varsity squad that competed at the Central A divisional were honored as letter-winners.
Nick Newell and Chad Maney earned Academic All-State awards.
Filius said this is a 100 percent increase from last year when the team had just one.
There were two most improved wrestlers. The first was Ryan Chagnon at 98 pounds and Aaron Jensen at 145 pounds.
Also, the annual Pony Wrestler award went to two athletes. The co-recipients were Chad Hedges at 119 pounds and K.P. Fisher at 160 pounds.
The most outstanding wrestler award was presented to Nick Holt. Holt set new school records this year in wins, with 41. Holt and Hedges also set a new record for the most pins in a season with 29 each.
Finally, the most inspirational award winner was Willie Hulett. Filius said Hulett only wrestled one tournament all year with both arms, after suffering from a shoulder that would dislocate.
Other records were broken by this year's team.
Jacob Szudera set a new takedown mark with 140 in a season, shattering the old record of 112.
Fisher finished with two new records, the first was most escapes with 46 and the second was not as rewarding as Fisher set a new penalties-given mark with 14.
Filius said they might have to do away with that record, thinking that no one could ever break Fisher's new mark.
As a team, the 1999-2000 Blue Ponies set a new mark for most pins with a team total of 215.
The new tradition came last in the night as senior Nick Newell brought a scale that he had weighed on all season. Newell, a member of the Northstar baseball team, also brought a bat. The object was obvious, to destroy the scale.
Each of the 14 varsity wrestlers got a shot at the scale, leaving the scale in shattered pieces by the end.