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Blue Pony grapplers set to take on Class A's best

The Havre High wrestling team is getting closer, and closer to competing at the Class A state tournament in Billings, and this weekend in Belgrade, the Blue Ponies will get an in-depth look at many of the teams that will also compete at the state tournament next month.

Friday and Saturday, the Central A Ponies will look to maintain their stay near the top of the Class A ranks. The No. 2 Ponies will join over nine other Class A teams in Belgrade for the Class A Duals. Last season the Ponies finished in second place, losing to Laurel in the championship dual.

Havre High's Gunnar Aageson, top, holds down a Browning wrestler during the 2012 Havre Invitational last month. The Blue Ponies will dual most of their Class A rivals Friday-Saturday at the Class A Duals in Belgrade. HHS is also home for two duals next week.

Friday the Ponies will face off against Hardin at 1:30 p.m., Livingston at 2:45 p.m., and Billings Central at 5:15 p.m. And on Saturday, the Ponies will face Corvallis at 9 a.m., Dillon at 10:15 a.m., and Miles City at 12:45 p.m. Depending on how the Ponies perform in their six duals will determine their seed in Saturday's bracket matchups.

"We would like to win," Havre High head coach Scott Filius said. "But the big thing is our individuals. We might wrestle a team that only has two good kids, but we would like to see who those two kids are. When you are getting ready for state you like to see those good kids."

HHS has wrestled well all season long, but should take another big step forward this weekend. The lineup has been somewhat pieced together the last couple of weeks, but is back to being nearly full strength. Key wrestlers have been out of the lineup recently, but the Ponies will enter the duals with only one open weight, 125 pounds. Wrestling for the Ponies will be Keegan Kennelly (98), Logan Pleninger (105), Grayson Brenna (105), Dylan Stewart (119), Thomas Gruber (130), Gilbert Bara (135), Kody Pribyl (140), Gunnar Aageson (145), Jordan Schroeder (152), JT Belcourt (160), Jake Williams (171), Grant Pattison (189), Tyler Adams (215), and Dustin Odegard (HWT).

"I would like to think that we are coming together at the right time," Filius said. "And we are looking for the same thing that we have been looking for all year. We want the kids to compete, especially at the end of periods when we are over matched. That is what we have to get better at, and what we have been getting better at, but that is still our focus."

The Ponies may be facing Hardin, Livingston, Billings Central, Corvallis, Dillon and Miles City, but HHS should be able to find wins in each of those duals with no real threat or challenge overall. Corvallis, Belgrade, and Glendive are however on the Ponies' radar, as three of the better teams in the talent pool this weekend. Last weekend in Missoula, the Belgrade Panthers finished in front of the Ponies, but Havre does have a very solid chance of earning the No. 1 spot.

"We go down there with the expectation to win every year," Filius said.

The Ponies will compete at the Class A Duals in Belgrade on Friday and Saturday.


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