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Parker Filius and Jase Stokes are a lot of things.

Life-long friends, high school wrestling teammates, college-bound athletes.

The two teenagers from Havre have spent a lot of time together and have a bond that few can match.

On Saturday evening at Rimrock Auto Arena, the pair made history together.

The two became the 28th and 31st athletes to become four-time state champions and only the second set of teammates to do it in the same season.

They joined Joe Lauer and Beau Malia of Billings Skyview (2004) on the same season teammates list.

Stokes and Filius also are the only members of the most exclusive list in the history of Montana high school wrestling.

They are the only four-time state champion teammates to also be part of four state championship teams.

“That’s pretty neat,” said Stokes.

“It feels good to be able to enjoy this with the team,” Filius added.

Stokes and Filius were joined on the growing four-time champion list by Belgrade’s Sawyer Degen and Clayton Currier of Colstrip.

“It was exciting to watch the other matches,” said Filius who was the last of the four to join the party. “It feels pretty good.”

Stokes and Filius were two of five state champions for Havre, which won its fifth consecutive Class A state championship. The run of five matches the Class A record set by Ronan (1978-82).

With the luck of the draw – the state tournaments began at 170 pounds – Stokes became Havre’s first four-time state champion.

He overcame an early 2-0 deficit to pin Travis Catina of Whitefish in 1:57 of the first round at 205 pounds. Stokes left the mat to a standing ovation.

“He came out swinging, that’s for sure,” said Stokes. “He caught me by surprise. That flipped a switch in me. After that I figured out I better wrestle this guy.”

Stokes is the heaviest wrestler to become a four-time state champion. He won his previous state titles at 152, 160 and 182 pounds.

“It’s huge to be one of the four-timers and it’s crazy to have two,” said Stokes, who finished 38-1 this season. “That standing ovation was awesome.

“And to win four state titles, to be part of that, is pretty special.”

Stokes also had pins of eight seconds and 1:05 among his four wins during the weekend.

Not much later, Filius finished Ben Windhauer of Columbia Falls with a pin in 1:24 to cap off an undefeated season (40-0).

“I just tried to go out there and treat it like it was any other match … just more people here,” said the low-key Filius. “I just tried to go out there and wrestled as hard as I can.

“It feels really good to be able to enjoy this with the team.”

Filius also won state titles at 138, 145 and 152 pounds.

“Boy, they were confident this weekend,” said Havre head coach Scott Filius of his two four-time state champions. “You couldn’t ask for any more from those two.”

While forever linked, Stokes and Filius were forced to separate in the wrestling room their junior season.

“Freshman and sophomore year, we practiced together,” said Stokes. “Then I got too big for him. I muscled him around. I didn’t want to hurt him.”

“I can’t handle him in practice," Filius added of his close friend. "We’ll roll around a little bit sometimes, but never practice together.”

Filius has signed to wrestle for Purdue in the rugged Big 10 Conference next season.

“If you want to be the best in the country, you have to go against the best in the country,” he said. “I’ll be doing that every weekend in the Big 10.”

Stokes is going a different direction, signing with Montana Tech for football.

“I’ve loved football since first grade,” said Stokes. “I think it’s time to hang up the wrestling shoes.”


High School Sports, Rodeo Reporter

Sports writer for The Billings Gazette.