By Robert Lucke
Danny Wirtzberger is the starting quarterback for the Havre Blue Ponies football team. Not only that but he was good enough that he started all the games last year as well. In addition to playing quarterback, he is good as a defensive back.
All that should go without saying. He explained why.
"Football is my thing," laughed Wirtzberger. "I have been playing in the schools since the seventh grade but I think I was playing football since I was 1 year old. I have always had a football in my hand."
Playing quarterback is just excellent for Wirtzberger.
"This is my second year of playing quarterback and I just like being the leader of the team," Wirtzberger said. "The rest of the team follows me pretty well. My friend Kevin Harada and I are the leaders and we just try to set an example for the rest of the team."
Thinking of quarterbacking as a job, there must be highs and lows as in any job.
"There are no lows at all," emphasized Wirtzberger. "I like everything about it."
Wirtzberger calls himself a running quarterback who likes to throw every so often.
The natural question is how does Wirtzberger think he and the team are going to do this season?
"I am going to make a prediction," he said. "We're going to be state champs. It is going to take a lot of work but I think in the end we will come out on top."
In order to do that it will involve whipping Belgrade, which Wirtzberger thinks is the toughest team.
"Belgrade is a need-to-win situation," he said.
If football isnt enough to occupy Wirtzbergers time, consider this. He plays basketball, baseball, hunts, gets out to the lake whenever possible and hangs out with his friends. On top of that, he ran successfully for senior class president and is a member of the Havre High Student Council.
Wirtzberger knows he will go to college, but what to study and where to go is still up in the air. His short list of schools ncludes Northern, Bozeman and Missoula, and the National American University for baseball.
Wirtzberger watches the National Football League whenever possible and the Pittsburgh Steelers are his team.
"Kordell Stewart is my quarterback. It's a good team and he is great," Wirtzberger said.
As for Wirtzberger's own play. He attributes much to his coach.
"I thank Coach Purcell for my playing," Wirtzberger said. "He gave me a chance last year and we ended up going to the semi-finals. I just really enjoy having him as a coach."
Tonight is the annual Blue-White scrimmage at Pony Stadium. It is important for Wirtzberger.
"We are doing it different this year. We are splitting the teams up evenly. Coach Purcell is going to make a game of it," Wirtzberger said. "That scrimmage is going to make us better prepared. Anytime you get into a game situation it will get you more ready for a real game."
Wirtzberger had advice for Blue Pony fans.
"Come watch the Blue Ponies. It's going to be a hell of a season."