The holiday break is just around the corner for Havre High, but first, the Havre wrestling team must take on the 36th annual CMR Holiday Classic.
The annual tournament is undoubtedly one of the state’s toughest, bringing in standout programs and individuals from all over the state. And the Central A Blue Ponies will look to make their mark on the two-day event as they attempt to one-up last year’s second-place finish. The No. 1-ranked Ponies will be in Great Falls Friday and Saturday for their last source of competition until January.
Last year, the Ponies were the No. 2 team with 205 points, finishing behind Great Falls High with 243 at the CMR tourney.
And Havre is coming off of a disappointing dual loss to Class AA Great Falls High on Tuesday night at the Havre High gymnasium. But looking to quickly move on, the Ponies are prepared for another strong showing this weekend.
“We are looking forward to wrestling this weekend,” Havre High head coach Scott Filius said. “We are looking forward to going to a tournament where we can get some individual stuff done.”
Last weekend, the Ponies emerged as the No. 1 team at the Mining City Duals in Butte. That is the goal this weekend in Great Falls, where the Ponies should have several individuals shine. Last year HHS had eight grapplers earn matches in the semifinals, six in the finals, and had one individual champion, Grayson Brenna at 105 pounds. The Havre lineup has been strong to this point, and could very well top last years’ impressive finish against the field of talent from Great Falls High, CMR, Bozeman, Forsyth, Belgrade, Kalispell Glacier, Helena High, Choteau, Ronan, Missoula Big Sky, Laurel, Kalispell Flathead and many more. This weekend’s field will also include the Harlem Wildcats, who will make some noise individually, as well as Chinook and Chester/J-I.
During the Tuesday night dual against the Bison, it was the first time the Ponies weren’t at full strength. They had some holes at 106 and 160 pounds. If the Ponies can get back to full strength, the lineup should do well in Great Falls. The expected Havre varsity lineup will be Tate Munyon (98), Keegan Kennelly (106), Logan Pleninger (113), Brenna (120), Dylan Stewart (126), Thomas Gruber (132), Parker Filius (138), Kody Pribyl (145), Gunnar Aageson (145), Jase Stokes (152), Jayson Kohler (160), Jordan Schroeder (160), Jake Williams (170), Dustin Odegard (182), Jace Billy (195), Tyler Adams (220) and Travis Adams (285).
“Early in the season I like the team tournaments because everybody advances and everybody gets matches,” coach Filius said. “But we are ready for an individual tournament. Even the Havre Invite is like a team tournament because of the way we run things, so we are ready for this weekend.”
The Ponies will be in Great Falls Friday and Saturday for the CMR Holiday Classic which will be held at the CMR Fieldhouse.