Daniel Horton Havre Daily News email@example.com
The Havre High wrestling program held the No. 1 ranking in Class A all season long, but this weekend the Blue Ponies shattered any and all standards the team was previously held to. At the Central A Divisional wrestling tournament in Browning on Saturday, the Ponies scored 321.5 points to give them their 11th Central A title in the 13 years under head coach Scott Filius. The Belgrade Panthers finished in second place, but doing so 85 points back with 236. Rounding off the Central A finishers were Lewistown in third with 84 points, Livingston in fourth with 68, Browning in fifth with 61 and Butte Central in sixth with 11 team points. “We had a great tournament.” Filius said. “I really thought that we wrestled the best we could.” HHS took 19 grapplers to Browning, and in their dominating performance managed to place all 19 of them in the top 4, including 11 individual Central A champions. Taking home championships for the Ponies were Zack Smith (98), Duell Stadel (105) , Chris Recio (112), Eli Hinebauch (130) , Myles Mazurkiewicz (135), Kent Pattison (140), Aaron Olson (145), Ethan Hinebauch (160), Phillip Sutherland (171) , Paul Jensen (215) and Mitch Schnittgen at heavyweight. Brett Normandy (119) locked down a second-place finish, while Dillon Seely (125) , Layne Waid (135), Kameron Pribyl (145) , Casey Schaub(152) and Josh Salapich (189) all finished in third for the Ponies. And Kristian Honadel (130) and Cody Johnson (152) both took fourth place finishes for the Ponies, rounding off the Ponies dominating and deep lineup. “I kind of expected that we would get all 19 kids through.” Filius said. “But we had to wrestle very well to get it done, so I was pleased when the kids did.” And Ethan Hinebauch can add another tournament achievement to this year's overwhelming success. He was named the winner of the Quick Pin award, getting two pins on his Browning and Belgrade opponent in a cumulative time of 1:39. “That’s Ethan’s style.” Filius said. “He’s a pinner anyway, and he actually collects quite a few of those trophies because if he gets ahold of you he usually doesn’t let up.” The Ponies have put extra emphasis all year on the importance of continuing to improve. And on Saturday they demonstrated their improvement in three matches in particular. Mazurkiewicz entered the tournament ranked No. 2, and ran into Lewistown’s No. 1-ranked Ryan Martin(135) for the fifth time this season. Martin and Mazurkiewicz had split there previous meetings 2-2, but this time around Mazurkiewicz was able to upset Martin for one of the many Pony championPattison and Olson also ran into some familiar faces this weekend as well. Pattison and Lewistown’s Rex Martin were 1-1 during the season, as were Olson and Belgrade’s Cole Schram. But the Ponies stepped up, and Pattison and Olson both earned the win and the championship in their respective weight classes. Overall the Ponies gave a good effort from the top of the lineup down to the bottom. They went into the divisional tournament and dominated the competition like they had done over and over already this season. “I think that their expectations were to beat everybody.” Filius said. “And that made the season kind of fun. We didn’t really put a label on who we were wrestling, we just wanted to win. They fully expected to dominate as much as they have.” All that is left for HHS this season is the 21st annual All Class State Tournament in Billings. The Ponies have won state two years running, and with 19 wrestlers qualifying, have a good shot at bringing the title back to Havre for a third straight season. “We expect to go down there and dominate and wrestle very well.” Filius said. "We got our kids seeded very well for the tournament and we are prepared and just ready to get down there (Billings). We are going to be fine, there just isn’t anybody out there this year that can put something together at this point.” On Friday and Saturday the Blue Ponies will be in Billings, where they are a favorite to take their third straight Class A state title.ships.