This weekend marks the last time the Havre High wrestling team will take to the mat before the divisional and state tournaments.
And after a slight shift in the schedule, the Central A Blue Ponies have a relatively light weekend. But it's light in that they will go to just one event, not light in talent. Expected to be there are teams among the top in the Class B and Class C ranks.
Saturday the Ponies will compete in Malta at the Malta Invitational.
And Tate Munyan (98), Keegan Kennelly (106), Logan Pleninger (113), Grayson Brenna (120), Dylan Stewart (126), Thomas Gruber (132), Parker Filius (138), Gunnar Aageson (138), Kody Pribyl (145), Jase Stokes (152), Jared Laux (160), Jake Williams (170), Dustin Odegard (182), Jace Billy (195), Tyler Adams (220) and Travis Adams (HWT) are all expected to get work this weekend.
"This time of year it is nice to wrestle people that we don't necessarily have to wrestle," Havre High head coach Scott Filius said. "But we used to have a bunch of duals set aside for this week, and we have kind of lost those duals. The numbers are down in Conrad so they canceled on us (Thursday), but most of our kids will get to compete in Malta. We will rest some kids if we get banged up, but right now we are pretty healthy. This is a really good Class B/C tournament. They always bring in quality teams."
The best teams expected to compete, aside from Havre, include Forsyth, Choteau, Malta, Harlem and Chinook. Forsyth is the No. 1-ranked program in the Class B ranks, while Chinook is currently the No. 1-ranked team in the Class C. Choteau is No. 2 in Class B and Harlem is No. 4.
And there is a deep pool of talented wrestlers that the Ponies could cross paths with.
Trevor Moore of Choteau is the No. 1-ranked 106-pounder, while Forsyth's Matt Weber is the No. 1-ranked 126-pounder. Teague Jones is also top ranked at 132, while Luke Weber of Forsyth is the top-ranked wrestler at 145 pounds. Forsyth also brings top-ranked brothers Branden (152) and Chris Nile (160). Malta's Nolan Simanton is also a standout 160-pounder while Choteau's Layne Durfee adds depth at 182. Tate Neideregger (120) also highlights Chinook's roster, while Shay Snider (126) of Harlem will also present several grapplers with a tough match this weekend.
"We just want everybody to be sharp at this point," Filius said. "Teams aren't probably going to make up too much ground at this point in the season, so we just want the competition. There will be some real good matches and good individuals in Malta this weekend."
Saturday's Malta Invite will be the final tuneup for the Blue Ponies, who will then turn their attention to defending their Central A Divisional title next Saturday in Browning. The Class A state meet is set for Feb. 14-15 in Billings.