By George Ferguson/Havre Daily News Sportsfirstname.lastname@example.org
On Thursday, Havre High wrestling coach Scott Filius watched as his team worked out at the Mat Corner. He couldn't help liking what he saw. Still, he wasn't sure exactly where his team was until it faced some real competition on the mat.
On Saturday afternoon, Filius' initital thoughts were given justification, and he found out exactly what he has for a team as his Ponies dominated the Havre Invitational wrestling tournament at the Havre High gymnasium.
The Ponies wracked up 337 team points and had nine individual champions en route to capturing another Havre Invitational title.
Malta finished a distant second with 178.5 points while Fort Benton was third with 167 points. The Harlem Wildcats also had a strong showing, finishing fifth. The Chester Coyotes finished eighth and Chinook was 10th.
"I saw a lot of good things in this tournament," Filius said. "You never really know until they wrestle against other teams, and I think we are right where I thought we would be based on what I saw in practice."
In the finals, the Ponies crowned individual champions in the first five weight classes.
Freshman Ryan Shelstad got the Ponies' championship run started with a win by fall over Chase Dirden of Harlem at 98 pounds. Fellow freshman Chad Ranes followed with a win by fall over teammate Billy Wagner in the 105-pound final. Wagner had defeated Ranes on Friday in the preliminaries. In the 112-pound final, freshman Lorren Mack made it three for three when he pinned Joe Klemann of Belgrade. Then at 119 pounds, sophomores Beau LaSalle and Nate Harada shared the individual title.
"All of those young kids wrestled really well," Filius said. "I thought Lorren Mack did a really nice job all weekend."
The Havre High championship train continued with junior Mike Sutherland at 135 pounds. Sutherland worked his way to a 14-0 major decision over Casey Barber of Chinook. At 140 pounds, Logan Reichelt fought back from a large deficit and pinned Alec Lefurgy of Fort Benton. The Ponies also captured titles in the final four weight classes, with sophomore Evan Hinebauch at 160 pounds, Cody Seely at 171, Chad Seely at 215 and Matt Schnittgen and Bill Zuelke sharing the heavyweight title.
Havre also got a second-place finish from Adam Burrington at 145 pounds as well as a third-place finish from junior Gray Chagnon at 130. Justin McLeod and Alex Leyba both placed fourth for the Ponies.
"This was a good first tournament for us," Filius said. "The important thing is that all of our kids got in six matches this weekend."
The Ponies will be back in action on Friday when they travel to the prestigious Mining City Duals in Butte.
1. Havre 337; 2. Malta 178.5; 3. Fort Benton 167; 4. Shelby 135; 5. Harlem 119; 6. Browning 87; 7. Belgrade 86; 8. Chester 48; 9. Livingston 47; 10. Chinook 41; 11. Butte Central 18.
98 - Ryan Shelstad, HAV, pinned Chase Dirden, HAR, 1:06.
105 - Chad Ranes, HAV, pinned Bill Wagner, HAV, 1:17
112 - Lorren Mack, HAV, pinned Joe Klemann, BEL, 1:05.
119 - Clint Bradbury, HAV, pinned Cody Fenger, SHE, :18.
125 - Beau LaSalle, HAV, and Nathan Harada, HAV, co-champs.
130 - Luke Jesson, LIV, and Lance Wilson, LIV, co-champs
135 - Michael Sutherland, HAV, maj. dec. Casey Barber, CHI, 14-0
140 - Logan Reichelt, HAV, pinned Alec LeTurgey, FB, 1:37.
145 - Vern Wagner, BRO, pinned Adam Burrington, HAV, 1:17.
152 - Jay Blunt, MAL, tech. fall Trevor Thomas, BEL.
160 - Evan Hinebauch, HAV, tech. fall Tom Flynn, SHE, 17-2.
171 - Cody Seely, HAV, dec. Todd Allen, HAR, 6-1.
189 - Tyler French, MAL, dec. Ryan Running Crane, BRO, 11-6.
215 - Chad Seely, HAV, pinned Skippy Sims, MAL, 5:26.
275 - Matt Schnittgen, HAV, and Bill Zuelke, HAV, co-champs
98 - Mario Bartoletti, BC, won by bye.
105 - Zach Snyder, HAR, dec. Kyle Ritterbush, LIV, 5-1.
112 - Bryce Hofer, HAR, pinned Nathan Madison, SHE, :39.
119 - George Richards, FB, dec. Shane Boucher, HAV, 8-7.
125 - Matt Finley, CHI, dec. Justin McLeod, HAV, 11-5.
130 - Gray Chagnon, HAV, pinned Nick May, FB, 2:01.
135 - James Armstrong, BEL, pinned Chaska Earth-boy, HAR, 2:08.
140 - Curtis Darrah, MAL, Ryan Flatt, MAL, 1:59.
145 - Jeff Thompson, CHE, pinned Blake Thacker, SHE, :52.
152 - Tony Tomsheck, SHE, dec. Jared Pankratz, AML, 5-3 in OT.
160 - Brent Thacker, SHE, pinned Alex Leyba, HAV, 3:49.
171 - Garth Hazen, FB, dec. Ryan Langley, BEL, 6-4.
189 - Jesse Anderson, FB, pinned John Werk, HAR, 2:57.
215 - Logan Tweet, FB, dec. Shane Gagnon, CHE, 6-5.
275 - Logan Sims, MAL, def. Jordan McClure, BRO, by forfeit.