The Wolves wrestling squad finished second at the Havre Invitational last Saturday, trailing only Class A powerhouse Havre Blue Ponies in the team standings. Cut Bank was led by Austin Vanek, Richard Schmidt and Alex Wahl, who all finished atop the podium for their weight classes. Cut Bank also competed in Havre on Friday in a mixer and the Wolves compiled a 25-11 record on the day.

“Havre is a great tournament to start the season with,” said head coach Cody Fetters. “It gives us a chance to look at some of the best teams in the state. Even missing the AA schools this year was no different. Havre and Lewistown are tough! We finished the weekend with most kids getting 5-6 matches and we wrestled pretty well both days.”

Schmidt finished 0-2 on Friday but bounced back to go undefeated on Saturday to win the championship at 103. Wahl went undefeated in his high school wrestling debut, going 3-0 on Friday and 3-0 on Saturday to claim the title at 132. Vanek picked up where he left off last season as he also went 3-0 on both days to claim the championship at 182.

“Austin had a great start to his senior season, making short work of some tough competition,” said Fetters. “Austin is fun to watch. He is very physical and he has a great ability to scramble. He definitely set the tone for this season as he chases his second state title.”

Kellen Cassidy went 1-1 on Friday and 2-1 on Saturday to finish second at 120. Kanon Branch also finished second in his weight class, going 3-0 on Friday and 2-1 Saturday at 138. Matt Larson went 2-1 both Friday and Saturday and finished second at 152. Ty Curry went undefeated Friday and went 3-1 on Saturday to finish second at 160 and Jeremy Gallagher finished second at 285 going 2-1 on Saturday.

Caleb Simpson went 3-0 on Friday and 1-2 on Saturday to finish fifth at 145. Jacob Hjartarson also ended the weekend with a fifth place finish as he went 3-0 on Friday and 3-2 on Saturday at 160. Raice Strand went 2-1 on Friday and 0-2 Saturday at 160. Wyatt Michaels went 1-2 on Friday and 0-2 Saturday at 182. Ron Grant went 0-3 on Friday and Saturday in his debut at 205 and Trystan Sydenstricker went 1-1 on Friday and was unable to compete Saturday due to injury.

“Matt Larson had a good weekend,” said Fetters. “His finals match was exciting to watch. He lost, but take away a couple of mistakes and the outcome is very different. Ty looked good after finishing last year with a shoulder injury, it was great to see him on the mat and healthy.”

Fetters also highlighted a pair of freshmen in Wahl and Cassidy.

“Alex was all business,” said the coach. “He pinned everyone in his bracket. He is another one who is fun to watch as he rarely gets out of position. Kellan was a big surprise and he showed a lot of grit as he wrestled his way to the finals.

The Wolves are back in action this weekend as they head to the Butte Duals, featuring teams from all classes in Montana.

The Cut Bank Lady Wolves got their 2021-22 season underway last week in Havre and the four local grapplers had a combined record of 10-7 on the weekend.

Defending State Champion Mariah Wahl went 3-0 on the weekend at 138 to lead the Lady Wolves.

“Mariah led the girls and definitely showed why she was a State Champion last year,” said head coach Cody Fetters. “She was all business.”

Teammate JJ Carter turned in a 2-1 performance on Friday and went an undefeated 2-0 on Saturday at 145. Haylee Fetters split a pair of matches on Friday and bounced back to go 2-0 on Saturday. Madison Price went 0-5 in her wrestling debut for the Lady Wolves.

Cut Bank will travel to the Kalispell this weekend for the Kalispell Invitational, which will be a tune-up for the annual CMR Holiday Classic in Great Falls the following weekend.

For more Cut Bank High School sports coverage of last week’s action, pick up a copy or subscribe to the Cut Bank Pioneer Press at


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