By George Ferguson
Now that the Havre High football team has reached the Class A state championship football game, some interesting questions are being raised concerning past Pony playoff prowess.
Every time Havre reaches a state championship the first question that usually comes to mind is "When was the last time Havre won a state title in football?"
While some Havre historians and residents may know the answer to that question, there are still probably some people out there that are wondering despite a banner hanging on the wall at the Havre High Gymnasium that lists all of the years that a Blue Pony team has captured the state championship in football.
Since the Ponies are hosting the 2002 state title game it raises another interesting bit of Havre trivia.
"When was the last time the town of Havre hosted a state football championship game?"
Well let's see if we can't shed some light on those questions.
First, it has been 32 years since Havre captured a state championship in football. The year was 1970. That season the Blue Ponies defeated Billings Central in the State AA semifinals 23-7. The following week Havre traveled to Columbia Falls and knocked off the Columbia Falls Wildcats 34-18. At that time, it was the Ponies first state championship in nine years.
That is because the year 1961 is the answer to the second trivia question. 1961 was the last time a state championship football game was played at Blue Pony Stadium. That season the Ponies defeated the Glendive Red Devils in consecutive weeks and then hosted Bozeman for the state title.
In the 1961 championship game, the Blue Ponies edged the Hawks 26-18. It was the second state title for Havre High in three years. In 1959, Havre won the Class A state championship and the following season they also reached the title game, but came up just short.
Going back even further, Havre High has also won state championships in 1921, 1926, 1941 and 1955, giving them seven total football state championships, but none since that 1970 season.
However, the Ponies have been close in recent years. In 1977 after moving to Class AA in the early 70's, Havre reached the Class AA state championship game by defeating Missoula Hellgate in the semifinals 19-14. They then lost the title game to the Butte Bulldogs 28-6 in Butte.
Havre would not reach another state championship game again until 1994, but they did reach the playoffs several other times including the 1983 and 1984 seasons. In 1983, the Ponies fell in the Class AA state semifinal to Great Falls High 28-14 and the following year they lost again in the semis this time to the CMR Rustlers 44-21.
In 1987, Havre High was dropped to Class A and in its first season in the Eastern A conference the Ponies reached the state semifinals before falling to Whitefish.
In 1989 and 1990, Havre lost in the first round of the playoffs both times at the hands of the Colstrip Colts. In 1992 , the Ponies fell to Sidney in the first round.
After a 17 year absence, the 1994 Havre High squad marched to the Class A state championship game but was pounded by Miles City 42-7 in Miles City.
However, it would take only three years for the Ponies to get back to the title game. In 1997, Havre traveled to Hamilton, eventually falling to the Broncs 21-14 which is the last time Havre played in a state championship football game.
Until, this week that is.