There isn’t another position in another sport that is under the microscope as much, or as often as a quarterback in the game of football.
The quarterback is the leader of the offense, and in most cases, a leader of the team as a whole. And while he is praised for his performance and his accomplishments, he is also expected to take much of the blame for the teams’ downfalls.
And alongside the quarterback's leadership and knowledge of the game, that position is also reserved for one of the teams’ top athletes.
This year, the Havre High football program put the quarterbacking duties in the hands of Dane Warp, the school's first fr
eshman to lineup under center as the varsity starter in more than four decades.
Senior wide receiver Zack Plum was accustomed to reeling in passes from two-year starter Justin Jensen, but has adapted well to the young signal caller.
“It’s been pretty good," Plum said. "Dane (Warp) is a quick learner and he throws the ball well, and we have connected already on pretty much every pass so far. It has been different, working with him now instead of Justin (Jensen), but we work together in practice and it is just going to take reps for us to get more comfortable.”
But Warp has a strong football background, and will hopefully continue to grow in a Blue Pony uniform.
Warp has taken to the gridiron since the age of three, and was hooked ever since. He played two years at the Havre Middle School, where he was the quarterback for two seasons, as well as the punter. But more importantly, Warp led the team to two undefeated seasons.
But prep football is whole other animal, and Warp is honored and excited to have been given the chance to lead the way.
“This is a big responsibility,” Warp said. “I have to make sure that I am capable of leading the team. But I am very excited for the opportunity.”
With just one game behind him, Warp will now make his home debut at Blue Pony Stadium in Havre. Tonight Warp and the rest of the Ponies will host the Butte Central Maroons, a very dangerous non conference team.
In Warp’s first outing, he posted decent numbers, but suffered the loss to Whitefish on the road last weekend. Warp passed the ball 23 times, and connected with receivers 15 times for a total of 151 yards. But Warp was also under a lot of pressure and rushed 10 times for minus 16 yards, while also taking a number of sacks. His biggest highlights came in the form of a four yard TD toss to Tristan Manual, and a 36 yard scoring toss to Thurman Holdsclaw. Unfortunately he also threw two interceptions.
“My first touchdown,” Warp said. “It was a great feeling to get that out of the way. And the pick, I knew it would come eventually, and I am also happy I got that out of the way.
“And moving forward,” Warp added. “I want to win as many games as possible, I actually want to win every game if that is possible, because that would make it fun. I think that is my goal.”
But only time will tell how the career of Warp will turn out, hopefully a good one, but he has four years to make his mark on the HHS record books. Warp didn’t even know he was the first Blue Pony freshman to earn the starting job in a long, ling time, but has already taken strides to ensure he keeps the starting job. Over the summer, Jensen worked out with Warp, a valuable opportunity, as Warp wants to groom his game towards Jensen’s successful style.
“I look up to Gus (Justin Jensen),” Warp said. “We threw a lot during the summer. I like his (Jensen’s) ability to read the defense and make plays out of nothing. He said had to overcome his height, but he did that very well, and that is what I would like to do, (add that to my game).”
Local fans will get their first real look at Warp tonight at 7 p.m., when the Ponies (0-1) take on the Maroons.