There is just something about a weeklong celebration of school pride that seems to bring a level of excitement over the entire commun
ity. And with homecoming week starting to wind down, nothing caps things off quite like a Friday night football game under the lights.
This entire week has been homecoming week at Havre High. Teachers, coaches, students and athletes all celebrate school pride in a variety of ways, and by the time tonight rolls around, all of the celebration and excitement seems to get funneled into Blue Pony stadium for the annual Central A Blue Pony homecoming game. This year the Ponies (1-3) will host the Belgrade Panthers (2-2), a very worthy conference opponent at 7 p.m.
The Pony football players were excited to take part in all of the festivities, but for them, football was still the No. 1 priority. Head coach Jason Christenson also wanted his players to enjoy themselves off the field, but also stresses how important it was to remain focused on the field.
“Homecoming always sets a fun atmosphere,” Christenson said “And the kids are excited. But we had a good week of practice, and it is nice for them to get into the spirit of homecoming, as well as good for the community and school. I want them to take advantage of homecoming and have fun with it, but also stay focused and remember what is on the line.”
Tonight’s game is the first conference game of the year for the Ponies, and a win over the Panthers would set the tone for the remainder of the conference schedule.
But with everything going on, the players had plenty of time to get involved with the school spirit.
Each school day, the HHS students were encouraged to dress up for a different theme. Monday was western day, Tuesday was super hero day, Wednesday was coronation, Thursday was career day, and today is Blue/White day. There was also a student softball game on Tuesday night at the Sixth Avenue Memorial field, as well as a pep rally scheduled for today in the Havre High gymnasium. The HHS band and cheerleaders will also perform at halftime tonight, while the homecoming royalty will be introduced on the field just prior to kickoff. The homecoming dance will also be held on Saturday night.
For junior linemen Dustin Odegard, this is a special game. He saw some varsity minutes last season, but is now a fulltime starter on both sides of the ball.
“This is my first homecoming,” Odegard said. “So this is a big deal. I hope we can win the game and hope we just do the best we can as a team.”
Sophomore Jace Billy is also excited for his first varsity homecoming. Billy took the time to enjoy Tuesday nights softball game, stating he especially enjoyed his team winning, but he is also focused on getting a Blue Pony win on the football field tonight.
“I am pretty excited,” Billy said. “It would mean a lot to get a win. It is going to be tough, they (Belgrade) are a good team and we are young. It’s not going to be easy, and we have been working on getting the fundamentals down.”
Tonight, putting a cap on all of the homecoming events, the Blue Ponies will host the Panthers at 7 p.m. at Blue Pony Stadium.