HAVRE — After Havre High wrapped up a 51-15 dual win over CMR on Tuesday night, head coach Scott Filius admitted something about his team.
“We’re tired,” he laughed.
Who can blame them?
The Blue Ponies have put together the most successful pre-holiday resume in program history after a grueling schedule. The four time defending Class A champs won the Havre Invite to open the season, they won a fourth straight title at the Mining City Duals in Butte a week later.
And over the weekend they added the crown jewel, besting 60 other teams from around the Northwest at the prestigious Tri-State tournament in Couer D’Alene.
“This was the first time we’ve taken our whole lineup (to Tri-State),” Filius said. “We’ve taken some good kids there in the past, but we really didn’t give ourselves an opportunity to win it. Things kind of fell into place this weekend, it was a lot of fun.”
Havre topped the field with 184 points, knocking off three time champ Post Falls (Id.) which finished second with 182.5 points. The tournament title was undecided until the finals. Both Parker Filius (145) and Jase Stokes (205) needed pins to lift Havre to its first win at the Tri-State. And each delivered in dramatic fashion.
“It was an awesome feeling,” said Stokes. “Me and Parker knew we had to wrestle as best we could. First priority is just to win the match and, if we could, try to get those extra bonus points. And we did and it was really cool.”
While Filius and Stokes, both three time MHSA state champs, shined – the rest of the lineup contributed to the cause.
“Ryan Stewart (113) put a lot of wrestling in in the summer and he made the finals,” coach Filius said. “We have five freshmen in the lineup and all of them scored points, two of them placed. Dane Flammond has been a steady contributor for years. He was in the top four. Everyone contributed, it’s just a lot of fun to be around right now.”
The younger Filius praised the team effort.
“(Tri-State) was good for our program because it sets the groundwork for us to win in the future,” said the Purdue commit. “It lets other Montana teams know that they can win that tournament and our future teams can win.”
And the Blue Ponies hope the fun continues through February, where they will chase history at the All-Class State Wrestling Tournament. Havre will try to capture a fifth straight state title and become just the fifth team to do so. Best friends and teammates Stokes and Filius will try join the elite club of four time state individual champions, the very first from Havre High.
“It’d be a great accomplishment,” said Stokes. “Two buddies getting it done together, and the first two at Havre High it would be cool. But you’ve got a pretty big target on your back going for that. You just wrestle your best and usually you’re fine.”
Only time will tell if the Blue Ponies will be the kings of Montana for a fifth consecutive year. But for now they will settle with being kings of the Northwest.