By Kim Staudinger
Havre High football coach Troy Purcell and his team could not have asked for a tougher draw than Whitefish to begin their season, especially when they have to face the Bulldogs on their home field.
The Blue Ponies, who defeated Whitefish in the first round of the playoffs last year, know the Bulldogs are looking for revenge.
"It will be a tough battle for us over there," Purcell said. "They are going to be hungry for us after we knocked them out of the playoffs. This will be a great first game for us."
Purcell says Whitefish is a well-coached team with good tradition. He said he has had the chance to scout the team and basically knows what to expect from them.
"We got a pretty good idea about them from watching game tapes," he said. "We have a game plan put together and I think we know how to shut their big plays down."
Purcell says Whitefish uses five different formations and will run the ball about 60 percent of the time.
"We should match up with them pretty well," he said. "It will all come down to mental mistakes and turnovers."
Purcell said he is proud of the way his team practiced this week and says the players are focused and ready to go for this weekend.
"My kids came a long way this week and they played pretty hard," he said. "My coaching staff is also doing an exceptional job."
Purcell's assistant coaches this year are Jason Christianson, Mike Leinwand, Dana Roe, Richard Vasquez, Brian Jenkins and Jeremiah Nitz.