HAVRE — Above the doors of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, an unofficial motto reads “not self but country.”
Three-time Class A state wrestling champion, Havre’s Orion Thivierge, will see this inscription everyday when he heads there in a month as a Midshipman to compete for Navy on the mat.
“Navy was something that really interested him academically,” MSU-Northern men’s wrestling coach and father Tyson Thivierge said. “He really liked the coaching staff and so that whole process actually started last July or August.”
After an All-American showing at Junior Nationals in Virginia Beach, Virginia, last year, Navy became a part of the recruiting process but as expected, with Orion’s father serving as the head coach of the powerhouse MSU-Northern, the decision to commit to Navy was not taken lightly
“He had talked to a few Division I programs. Obviously, we had a recruiting visit here so he had options but Navy, that’s a big deal,” Tyson said.
After the rigorous recruiting and application process which included a nomination from Senator Jon Tester, Orion reports to the Naval Academy at the end of June for boot camp and although Maryland is far from Havre, the final memory of a father watching his son finish his high school athletic career with a third state title is enough to hold the Thivierge family over until they can watch him compete as D-1 wrestler.
“The first time in his three, I got to be there, but I sat back and kind of took the moment in.”
Orion Thivierge was also selected to be a part of the 75th Annual East-West Shrine Game on this June 18 in Great Falls after a stellar career on the gridiron for the Blue Ponies.