One reason the Havre High wrestling program has become one of the greatest prep dynasties in recent Montana history is because of their great senior leadership. Each year the Blue Ponies are paced by a talented senior class, and in 2013, that is no different.
This year, the Central A Ponies have just two seniors. And while they aren’t the most vocal of leaders, they have still taken on the role with open arms.
Grant Pattison, who wrestles at 189 pounds, and Gilbert Bara at 135 pounds are two of the top wrestlers on the HHS roster this season. In fact, they have been instrumental in the varsity lineup for the last three seasons. And while fans may not find the two senior leading with pre match speeches and cheers, Bara and Pattison have done a standout job leading by example.
“Pattison has done a great job for us,” Havre High head coach Scott Filius said. “He doesn’t say much, but always does a great job. He wrestles hard and works hard in practice, and he is dominating and brings such a physical presence to our room.
“Gilbert is real dynamic in practice,” Filius added. “If he thinks he is supposed to beat you, sometimes he wrestles to that competition, but as that goes away, he gets better. In our room he is dynamic, he does lots of great things, he has a very high level, and he has made everybody in our room better.”
Bara and Pattison have done a ton for the HHS program over the years, and they will do even more for the remainder of the season so both will be a very to lose when the year is over. Both grapplers have been in the varsity lineup for the last three years. Bara has placed three times at the state tournament, while Pattison placed for the first time last season as a junior. But both have a shot at individual, as well as a team title at state this season. Pattison is favored in his weight class, ranked No. 1 all season long at 189 pounds. He even had an explosion of success just last weekend, winning the Class A duals by going 8-0 in his matches and allowing just two points the entire weekend.
Friday will mark the final time these seniors compete at home. The Ponies host the Class B Conrad Cowboys and both seniors will be honored before the dual.
Bara will get a shot to compete at home on Friday, but Pattison made his home appearance on Tuesday with a win over CMR. Pattison pinned Jacari Murphy in just 44 seconds, a very memorable finale match in front of local fans. Conrad is expected to be without a 189-pounder on Friday, but if nothing else, both seniors should be able to exit the Havre High gymnasium with a team win under their belts.
“It is pretty sad,” Bara said. “I am going to miss wrestling here, it an awesome atmosphere. But I want to give it my all and wrestle hard, and hopefully leave with a win. A win would be awesome.”
“My last time wrestling at the Havre gym was (Tuesday),” Pattison added. “But a team win would still be nice, being our last time in Havre. I will be there to just cheer everybody on.”
Friday the Ponies host Conrad at the Havre High gymnasium at 6 p.m.