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Hinebauch legacy will keep on going

When your last name is part of a legacy, there can be an immense amount of pressure that comes with it. And when your last name is Hinebauch, choosing whether or not to stay home and continue your college wrestling career or deciding to venture out to another program can be a difficult decision.

In the end however, Havre High senior Eli H

Havre High senior Eli HInebauch (right) battles during the 2012 Class A state championship match at 152 pounds in Billings back in February. Hinebauch, a two-time state champion, recently decided to continue his wrestling career at Montana State University-Northern.

inebauch decided that home is certainly where the heart is, and he chose to continue the Hinebauch legacy at Montana State University-Northern.

Northern head coach Tyson Thivierge and Hinebauch recently announced that the youngest Hinebauch will continue his wrestling career for the Lights starting next fall.

Hinebauch, the 2011 and 2012 Class A state champion, was looking at several programs outside of Montana and the NAIA, including Oregon State, but he says at the end of the day, Northern felt like the right place for him.

"The more I thought about it, the more it just seemed like the best thing," Hinebauch said. "Northern is a great program. They've been great for my brothers and they've been great to my family. In the end, it was the right place for me."

"This is a recruit I have been wanting to grab since the first time I saw him wrestle as a freshman for the Havre Blue Ponies," Thivierge said. "I am so excited to have landed another product of the Hinebauch family. To me, Eli is extremely talented and very well-rounded. He also has that characteristic that is extremely hard to find in recruits, and that is his drive and confidence. It is difficult to find guys who just want to wrestle and strictly wrestle to be the absolute best. That is something I have found in Evan and Ethan, and now Eli."

Hinebauch will join his brother Ethan in the Northern program next season. Ethan recently earned NAIA All-American at the national tournament last month and still has three years left at MSU-N. He also follows Evan, a four-time all-American and 2011 NAIA national champion. But he will also be joining many former high school competitors and good friends who have also decided to come to Northern, like recent signees Jorrell Jones of Chinook and Tucker Erickson of Helena as well as current MSU-N wrestlers like former HHS teammate Duell Stadel. That prospect also made MSU-N an intriguing fit for Hinebauch.

"I know a lot of the guys who are there or are coming there," Hinebauch said. "I've wrestled against and wrestled around the state with a lot of those guys, so it will be good to have them on the same team and see what we can do in the future at Northern. I'm excited about that."

Hinebauch reached the Class A state championship match in all four years of his brilliant high school career under head coach Scott Filius. In his two state championship seasons, he lost just one time and capped a brilliant undefeated senior season this past February in Billings. He's also wrestled around the country in national tournaments, including just two weeks ago at a high school national tournament. He was recently awarded a $1,000 scholarship through Great Falls wrestling enthusiast Alexander Blewett III for being the top wrestling student-athlete in Class A. Hinebauch will finish his high school career with a stellar 3.8 GPA.

And as he moves on to Northern, he'll certainly continue his fine work in the classroom and no doubt the wrestling mat. He's slated to compete at 157 pounds and isn't sure of whether or not he'll redshirt in his first season.

"As far as redshirting, I'm not sure yet," Hinebauch said. "I'd like to because I'd like to have that year to get stronger, get used to college wrestling and the system and work my way into it. But we'll see what happens."

Whether he redshirts or not, Hinebauch will make an impact on the Lights' room right away and having another competitor in a great wrestling family has Thivierge excited.

"We have a lot of confidence in Eli and we truly believe he has a very bright future at Northern just like his brothers," Thivierge said. "Eli moves extremely well, is offensive minded and does not like to get upstaged. I really like that about him. It will be fun to see how hard he pushes those around him, especially his brother Ethan.

"I'm excited about going to Northern," Hinebauch added. "I know coach Thivierge really well and what kind of program he runs and what he expects. That made my decision a lot easier. It's a great program and it was the right decision for me."

Hinebauch is part of an impressive 2012 recruiting class for Thivierge, who has also signed Chinook's Jones, Helena's Erickson, Laurel's Tommy Cooper, Sidney's Allen Neuleib and Travis Williams of Madras, Ore.

For more on the Northern class, see next week's Havre Daily News.


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