HAVRE — After winning a state championship at 160 pounds last season, Havre wrestler Orion Thivierge has already achieved one of his athletic goals.
But as the Blue Pony junior will tell you, that doesn’t make future goals any easier to decide. A college career in wrestling would seem obvious until it's not.
"It was a dream come true, really," Thivierge said of his first state tile. "It was awesome having all the fans there, and looking back it was a great experience."
It was also a great experience for Thivierge’s dad, Tyson, who knows a thing or two about wrestling as the head coach down the street at MSU-Northern.
"He helps me a lot. It's nice to have him at home kind of just talk about stuff and fix little mistakes with him," Orion said. "It's really nice having him."
But between their busy schedules, Tyson hardly ever actually sees his son wrestle. And this year, the State A wrestling tournament is scheduled at the same time as the NAIA nationals, so Tyson won’t catch Orion’s attempt at a state repeat.
"I don't get to see him wrestle that much. You know, most of the stuff is over the phone, watching the video together," Tyson said. "So being able to watch him win his first state title, I was very fortunate. It was a special moment."
Orion will gun for more wrestling titles before high school is over, but he's also a football standout for Havre High. So with his wrestling success and background, it begs the question: Will he stick around and wrestle for the Lights? Will dad finally get to see him wrestle?
"It is definitely tempting to stick around with him. You know, we've talked about it more jokingly, but we've talked about it," Orion said. "I kind of want to get out there and do my own thing, but it'd be a really cool thing to do also, to wrestle for him."
The Lights are one of the best NAIA programs in the country, but when it comes down to it, there’s no pressure from dad.
"With Orion, I'm just dad. I don't overreach," Tyson said. "I ask how things were, did you have fun. And then if he approaches me seeking advice, then I go back into that coach role."