Havre's wrestling program has won eight team state championships under head coach Scott Filius (below). / TRIBUNE PHOTO/RION SANDERS
Few families are racking up as many victories or putting on as many miles this winter as the Havre household of Scott Filius.
The highly successful Havre head wrestling coach annually travels all over the state during the winter, and this season his Ponies are once again pinning their way to a lot of triumphs.
But basketball is just as important to this grappling great.
Oldest daughter Peyton plays basketball for the Blue Ponies and son Parker is a freshman who had a fine football season and is now starring on the wrestling team. So it’s been a pretty enjoyable sports year for the Filius family.
“Fun and busy,” he said with a laugh Tuesday night while coaching the Pony matmen against C.M. Russell High. “I think we’ve caught four ballgames and we’ll catch a few more.”
Filius has missed a few wrestling matches in order to catch Peyton’s basketball games. The Havre High administration obviously backs a coach with eight state championships to his credit.
Indeed, Filius is on a short list of Montana’s most successful mat mentors.
“I’ve got good assistants,” he said.
Having his son on the team this year has been a big bonus.
“I’ve been dragging him around for a long time and it’s nice to actually get a chance to coach him,” Filius said.
The coach said he feels no extra stress when his son is on the mat.
“It’s been his thing for a long time,” Filius said. “I haven’t had to push him at all. It’s all his doing.”
Coach Filius was a wrestling star at Billings Senior, an All-American both in junior college and at Montana State-Northern.
“He’s got a lot more talent than I ever had,” Scott said.
Daughter Sadie, 10, is yet another member of the family on the way. It’s a good bet she’ll be a fine athlete, too.
Filius is married to Kari (Fike). Not so many years ago Kari and her twin sister Kim were star all-around athletes at Big Timber. Kim is married to former Big Timber bull rider Monte Finn. Their family includes two basketball-playing boys and a daughter.