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It's Ted Kato time

Annual wrestling tournament Saturday in Thompson Falls


January 17, 2019

The Ted Kato Invitational is not just another wrestling tournament; in Sanders County it has become an annual tradition.

Formerly named the Thompson Falls Invitational, the tourney was re-branded as the Ted Kato Invitational in the mid-90s and has gone by that name ever since. And what a name, and a man, to live up to.

Renamed in honor of the late, great Ted Kato, a legendary Montana educator and coach who finished up his teaching and administrative career in this area, the tournament will officially begin for mat fans at 10 a.m. Saturday at TFHS gym.

Teams invited to the Kato include: the host Thompson Falls Blue Hawks; the Plains-Hot Springs Savage Horsemen; the Arlee Warriors; the Clark Fork Mountain Cats (Superior-Alberton); the Florence Falcons; the Mission-Charlo Bulldogs; the Bigfork Vikings; and jayvee squads from Class AA schools Flathead and Big Sky.

The Blue Hawks and the Flathead JV will have a dual match at TFHS beginning at 6 p.m. Friday as a precursor to Saturday's main event in the Kato.

Since promoting high school wrestling was always one of Ted Kato's many prime objectives, the annual mat tourney in Thompson Falls has become a great time to remember the man who meant so much to not just this area, but to the entire state of Montana during his long and productive educational career.

Thompson Falls coach Ian Taylor, whose Hawks won the Kato team title last winter, doesn't know if his boys will be able to challenge for another Kato crown this year, but expects some quality mat action no matter which way the team race goes.

"We have won this thing a few times over the past years, but I don't know if we have the numbers to win the tournament this year," he said. "We will have some kids in the mix for individual honors though, and I expect there to be a lot of good wrestling across the board."


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