August 23, 2013 |

Ponies geared up for Blue/White Saturday

HHS volleyball, football teams hold annual scrimmages Saturday

The summer has already cruised by, and the start of the Havre High volleyball and football seasons are just days away.

Daniel Horton
Havre High\'s Jace Billy runs the football during a Blue Pony junior varsity football game last fall at Blue Pony Stadium. Saturday evening, the Ponies will conduct their annual Blue/White Game. The Ponies open the season Aug. 31 at Whitefish. Saturday will also see the Havre High volleyball team hold its Blue/White Game at 2 p.m. at the Havre High gymnasium. The HHS spikers open the season next Friday at Browning.

But before the official start of the regular season arrives, the Central A Blue Ponies will play in their traditional Blue/White scrimmages. Saturday at the Havre High gymnasium, the volleyball team will scrimmage at 2 p.m. At 5 p.m., the HHS football program will scrimmage at Blue Pony Stadium.

In volleyball action, Havre High head coach Melanie Skoyen is looking forward to working out any remaining offensive and defensive wrinkles.

“We have had a very solid start,” Skoyen said. “The girls are more enthusiastic than normal, and this has been one of the best first weeks of practice that we have ever had. They are coming out with energy and really excited to be on the court. It is really giving me good feelings about this upcoming season.

“We aren’t really sure what we are going to do with our defense yet,” she added. “We don’t know if we are going to use a libero or have two defensive specialists. It will be nice to try the girls out, and also run our 6-2 that we haven’t ran in a long time. It will be good for us to get to practice a lot of different rotations and just get ready for the season.”

Two volleyball players without much varsity experience will be leaned on defensively this year. Tatiana Ralph and Jordy Warren enter the season as the defensive specialists, and will get a lot of good reps on Saturday. Dani Wagner and Ellery Bresler will also get more comfortable in running the 6-2 formation, as the Ponies will utilize this scrimmage to have a little fun, but also get ready for the start of the regular season.

Football is on the same page for Saturday.

Not only will the HHS football program be excited to get on the field and hit each other, they also know they need to work on finalizing some things with the offense, defense and special teams.

The Ponies lost just three seniors from last year, but two of them are All-State receivers in Zach Plum and Thurman Holdsclaw. Plum is now playing with the Montana State University-Northern Lights, while Holdsclaw is a walk-on with the Montana Grizzlies.

But while the Ponies were extremely young last season, Saturday will give a lot of older, more experienced Ponies a chance to display how they have grown.

“We are still just trying to evaluate,” Havre High head football coach Jason Christenson said. “Anytime you go into a scrimmage you are just trying to get the best players in those positions that they will be best in. But we just want the kids to get out and have some fun too. This is a chance to see some game situations and earn their spots, so it will still be fun, but a competitive scrimmage.”

Fans will get a chance to see the No. 1 offense and No. 1 defense face scout teams. There will be a mixture of run and pass plays, as well as a look at special teams. With high hopes of reaching the Class A state playoffs once again, Saturday will hopefully be the start of a solid season by the Blue Ponies.

Saturday the volleyball team will scrimmage at the Havre High gymnasium at 2 p.m., and at 5 p.m., the HHS football team will scrimmage at the Blue Pony Stadium. The Pony volleyball team opens the season Aug. 30 in Browning, while the Blue Pony football team travels to Whitefish Aug. 31.

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