The Havre Hi
gh football team hasn’t been on the field for two weekends now. And after the season the Blue Ponies turned in, it is a shame that fans will have to wait a whole year before watching their Ponies take the field next.
Coming into the 2011 season, Blue Pony football had high hopes. And as the Ponies went on to earn everything but the state title, HHS found a multitude of success with their best season in seven years.
The Ponies finished the season with a record of 7-3. They captured the Central A title and even found their way into the state semifinals. In the semis the Ponies lost to Dillon, who went on to win the state championship with a flawless record on the season.
Reaching the state semifinals was a huge accomplishment, maybe even the highlight of the Ponies’ season. But it took a great run in the regular season to get there. HHS won its first game of the year over Whitefish, and then went on a three game slide, losing to Butte Central, Miles City and Sidney. But the Ponies bounced back and won six straight games, including their quarterfinal matchup before falling to Dillon. The Ponies earned wins over Belgrade, Lewistown, Libby, Browning, Livingston and Hamilton in a great run this season.
A prolific offense was key for the Ponies this season.
The Blue Ponies broke several records on the offensive side of the ball this season. Justin Jensen completed 22 consecutive passes in a game to tie a Havre High record, while Brayden Grimson and Ryan Brandt have also tied receiving records with 11 receptions in one game. In another record setting outing, the Ponies racked up 703 offensive yards to set a new school record. The Ponies also surpassed the total offensive yards record, set back in 2004. HHS surpassed the mark against Hamilton, when they put up 407 yards and hit 4,737 on the season. The Ponies finished with nearly 4,900 yards of offense.
“I am very proud of these kids,” Havre high head football coach Jason Christenson said. “ And I think the kids should be very proud of themselves, and the town of Havre should be very proud of this team as well. They came up a little short as far as going as far as the 2004 team, not earning a championship, but they kind of solidified themselves as one of the best teams that has come through Havre High. This team set some records and broke some set by a very good 2004 team, and now leaves some very impressive marks that will be hard to beat. The kids should hold their heads up high and be proud of themselves, they did a great job.”
The Ponies showed great improvement from last season to this season, as well as from game to game. And it didn’t seem to matter whether the Ponies won or lost the week prior, they come back in their next outing and still got better. The steady improvement was the main source of their success, but it also took the Blue Pony personnel to step up each and every week.
The All-State honors are still yet to be determined, but fans can be sure some Ponies will make the cut. HHS led the conference in All-Conference honors, with 23 total honors including honorable mention. HHS grabbed 11 on offense and 12 on defense, including coach Christenson earning Central A coach of the year, Ryan Brandt earning offensive MVP and Casey Schaub earning defensive MVP.
“Anytime that you can get into the playoffs and you can go into the later rounds,” Christenson said. “I think that is a very successful season. And this is the first team to do that in seven years, the kids worked hard and learned a lot as the season progressed. That to me is a successful season, when the kids can improve and learn from their set backs and continue to take steps forward. That is a very successful season.”
The Class A All-State team is expected to be released sometime this week.