Wrestling season is back, and fans across the Hi-Line will be treated to an action-packed weekend as things get underway.
Today and Saturday, the Havre High wrestling team will host the annual Havre Invitational at the Havre High gymnasium in Havre. The an
nual season opener for the Central A Blue Ponies brings in some of the state’s top talent, and gives grapplers almost two full days on the mats.
This season the Ponies will welcome in 14 teams, including Big Sandy, Browning, Cut Bank, Chester/J-I, Malta, Chinook, Lewistown, Butte Central, Fort Benton, Conrad, Glasgow, Great Falls and CMR.
Last season Class AA Great Falls High won the tournament with 313 team points, while the Blue Ponies finished second with 277.5 points. CMR was third with 22.5.
“The nice thing about this tournament is that your kids are guaranteed five matches,” Havre High head coach Scott Filius said. “And some of them will get upwards of seven matches. That is the benefit from the weekend because you get a lot of matches in a short amount of time, and you can then figure where you are at, and what you need and what you need to improve on.”
Today the wrestlers will be separated into groups of three and will wrestle a round robin format. The results from this afternoon and evening will determine the seeding for the tournament format on Saturday.
And the Ponies are looking forward to the amount of matches they will get in their season opener as much as the next team.
The Ponies are young, but talented this season, and this weekend will also be used as the first wrestle off to set the roster moving forward. All of the Pony wrestlers will take the mat this weekend, including Keegan Kennelly (98), Grayson Brenna (105), Logan Pleninger (105), Dylan Stewart (119), Gunnar Aageson (130), Dylan Carpenter (130), Christopher Steinmetz (130), Thomas Gruber (135), Gilbert Bara (140), Kyle Gooch (140), Sundance Lodge (140), Kody Pribyl (145), Kage Hansen (152), Jordan Schroeder (152), David Borris (160), Jayson Kohler (160), J.T. Belcourt (171), Jace Billy (171), Mason Buck (171), Jacob Williams (171), Grant Pattison (189), Travis Adams (215), Tyler Adams (215) and Dustin Odegard (285).
“If you improve a little bit every day, it seems to add up quick,” Filius said. “Anytime at the beginning of a new year, you want to see your kids score points on the edge of the match. You also want to see their conditioning come into play and see them be solid in their technique. But hopefully we will find some areas that we are really strong in.”
The Ponies will look to get off to a solid start today and Saturday at their annual Havre Invite. The action takes place at the Havre High gymnasium, with things starting Saturday at 10:30 a.m.