Playing college football has always been a dream for Zach Plum, and after his breakout senior season with the Havre Blue Ponies , his longtime dream will soon become a reality.
Plum has announced that he is the latest Pony to take his game to the Montana State University-Northern Lights football program. The Ponies always seem to produce some of the top athletes in the state, in several different sports, and Plum is safely on that list. Playing wide receiver and cornerback for the Ponies, he was able to stamp his name in the prep record books on several occasions last season.
Standing at 5-10, Plum was named First-Team Class A All-State as a receiver and defensive back, as well as named to the 2013 Shrine Game. Plum tied the HHS record with nine interceptions in a season, also held by Marc Mariani, as well as a handful of other HHS records. His three interceptions in a game also tied an HHS record, as did his four touchdown receptions in a game and his 241 receiving yards in one game. Plum also finished the season with 1,177 yards, second on the HHS record books.
“I have always wanted to play college football,” Plum said. “But it was just recently that I decided I was going to actually play. And so I decided to stay here in Havre and go to Northern. And I knew they had a lot of seniors last year, so if I came in now I might be able to earn playing time early on.
“I think it is going to be extremely tough going from high school to college ball,” Plum added. “Just the game speed is so much faster in college, and there is a lot more intensity at the college level. Everybody is bigger, faster, and stronger, it is going to be a lot different. I always knew I could play well if I really played my best and practiced hard every day. And after I played well my senior season, I know I can play well at the next level if I keep pushing myself hard every day.”
And Plum has what it takes to help Northern keep improving and climb into the next tier.
Northern has found ways to improve each and every season. And behind the head coaching style of Mark Samson, and the throwing ability of Derek Lear, Plum is a nice fit with the rest of the Northern family, proving he is a capable deep threat.
“I just want to win a playoff game. That would be awesome to be a part of, and then hopefully we can get to the national championship and win one of those,” Plum said.
Plum knows he has to work his way into finding playing time on the field, but when he gets there, he should fit the Northern mold quite nicely. He adds to the long list of former Blue Ponies to move onto the Lights’ ranks, and he is already comparable to several former Blue Pony receivers who had standout Northern careers, including Coda Tchida and Andy Smith, a current assistant football coach for the Ponies. Smith has been key in the success that Plum has found, and Plum has used his relation ship with Plum to further his game.
“Andy Smith, has a couple of records up at Northern and I would like to beat him at those like I did in high school.” Plum joked. “I told him that I was going to knock him off the board like I did last year. But I think I looked up to him the most because he did have such a great career up there. They didn’t always have the greatest teams, but he was still able to play really well and that says a lot. He always ran crisp routes, and he taught me all of my routes. That is definitely the best part of my game, my routes and my speed.”
Plum was recruited for both his defensive and offensive skills, but decided to play receiver early on. And after finishing his senior season year at Havre High, Plum will hopefully continue to play well in Havre, playing for the Lights.