HHS grapplers anxious for the Cut Bank Invite
Last updated 1/8/2015 at 11:56am
The holiday break was a long one for most high school teams in the state of Montana, but for the Havre High wrestling team, the break was even longer than usual. After going nearly three weeks without seeing competition, the Blue Ponies can't wait to get back on the mat.
Fortunately, the Havre wrestlers will get their wish as they will be in Cut Bank Friday and Saturday to compete in the Cut Bank Invitational, a meet the Ponies have now won an impressive 12 years in a row.
"Basically, we have been in the wrestling room against just each other for the last three weeks," HHS head coach Scott Filius said. "So we have been beating on each other for the last three weeks, so we really need to get out there and compete against someone else. I don't care who it is against or where it is, we just need to get some matches in. We have corrected everything we can correct over the last three weeks, we just need matches."
Havre will get matches this weekend. The tournament will start Friday with preliminary action and will be completed Saturday. Last year in Cut Bank, Havre placed 14 wrestlers and had three individual champions on its way to a total of 295 points, which was good enough to beat out Great Falls High and CMR for first place.
In addition to wrestling against quality Hi-Line programs such as Cut Bank, Harlem, Chinook and Conrad, the Ponies will also see teams like Ronan, Malta, Whitefish, potentially both Great Falls schools and possibly Columbia Falls.
Havre comes into the meet as the top-ranked team in Class A wrestling and would relish the opportunity to compete against third-ranked Columbia Falls.
"It just depends on all the schools that come, but there should be some good competition," Filius said. "We would hope to win it again but if both the Great Falls schools and Columbia Falls come it should be a really good meet."
Leading the way for the Ponies in Cut Bank will be two of the defending champions at the meet from last season in Keegan Kennelly and Parker Filius. Kennelly, who is the top-ranked wrestler at 120 pounds, won the meet at 106 pounds last season and will look to win the meet this week wrestling at 113 pounds. Filius, the top-rated wrestler at 145 pounds, will also be looking to win in a new weight class after winning the meet at 138 pounds a season ago.
HHS will have three other top-ranked wrestlers in action this weekend in Grayson Brenna at 132 pounds, Jace Billy at 205 pounds and Travis Adams in the heavyweight class.
The rest of the Havre lineup will include fifth-ranked Ryan Stewart at 103 pounds, Dylan Stewart at 120 pounds, fourth-ranked Logan Pleninger at 126 pounds, third-ranked Kody Pribyl at 152 pounds, third-ranked Gunner Aageson at 160 pounds, second-ranked Jase Stokes at 170 pounds and John Chinadle at 182 pounds.
"The biggest thing for us is that we just want to get out and compete in actual matches," Filius said. "But we spent a lot of time over the break on positioning."
The Cut Bank Invitational will get underway Friday in Cut Bank and will continue Saturday morning. HHS will dual Class AA GFH next Thursday in Great Falls.