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Blue Pony grapplers set to defend Cut Bank title

Midway through the season, the Havre High wrestling team has a familiar feeling heading into action this weekend. Teams are always hungry to get on the mat to start a new year, but after a two-week holiday break, the Blue Ponies are ready to get back to competition.

The last time the Central A Ponies took the mat was on Dec. 20, as they dropped a tight dual with the Class AA Great Falls High Bison in Great Falls.

But the Ponies won't waste any time as they prepare to get back to their tough schedule of duals and tournaments. Friday and Saturday the Ponies will be in Cut Bank for the 45th annual Cut Bank Invitational. A year ago, the Ponies won the event with 279 points. But last year the teams pushing the Ponies also included Conrad, Great Falls High junior varsity, Lewistown, Harlem, Glasgow, Fort Benton, Chinook Cut Bank, Lincoln County, Fairfield, Malta, Wolf Point, Browning, Chester/J-I, Whitefish, CMR junior varsity, Jefferson, Shelby, Poplar, Big Sandy, Heart Butte, and Highwood, and the Ponies are expecting a similar group of team to be their pushing them again.

"There are going to be a lot of great individuals wrestling," Havre High head coach Scott Filius said. "But I think Choteau will be the scrappiest team. We just need to get into some competition, we have had plenty of time off now."

HHS got off to great start this season, and wrestled very well heading into the break. The Ponies showed they have a strong lineup, and proved that even with their youth on the roster, they can dominate the Class A ranks, as well as hang with the

Havre High's Logan Pleninger, top, holds down an opponent in the 2012 Havre Invitational last month. The Blue Ponies return to action Friday-Saturday at the Cut Bank Invitational.

top tier teams in the Class AA.

And while the Pony lineup has been shuffled around off and on this season, the lineup the Ponies entered the break with will be the lineup they utilize this weekend. Keegan Kennelly (98), Grayson Brenna (105), Logan Plenninger (112), Dylan Stewart (119), Dylan Carpenter (125), Thomas Gruber (130), Gilbert Bara (135), Gunnar Aageson (140), Kody Pribyl (145), Jordan Schroeder (152), David Borris (160), Jake Williams (171), Grant Pattison (189), Tyler Adams (215) and Dustin Odegard (HWT) should take the mat this weekend in their respected weight classes, but changes could occur.

And wrestling well already this season, the Ponies didn't tackle any major, or specific areas of problem over the break. To wrestle well again this weekend, the Ponies just have to do what they do best, wrestle hard in all phases of the match, and control the match tempo.

"We just really worked on our conditioning and went hard the whole break," Filius said. "We just went into the break knowing that we had to get better. We worked on all three phases this week, and I think the kids are going to come out real fresh. We didn't go every day, but the days we did go, we went hard, and I think we are ready to go."

The Ponies will look to capture another team title at the Cut Bank Invitational on Friday and Saturday in Cut Bank.


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