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Blue and White Time: Havre High volleyball, football teams on display Saturday

 

August 18, 2017

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Havre High fans can get their first look at the Blue Pony volleyball and football teams Saturday. Havre hosts its Blue/White volleyball game Saturday afternoon in the HHS gymnasium, and the Blue/White football game Saturday night at Blue Pony Stadium.

It's been a long wait for Havre High sports fans, but this weekend, it's finally over as football and volleyball are both set to return to the stage with their annual Blue-White scrimmages.

The Blue Pony golf teams were already in action earlier this week, but the first glimpse of the HHS football team will come Saturday, with the Blue-White game starting at 5:30 p.m. The Pony volleyball team will also hit the floor for the first time, in a scrimmage of their own, which starts at 2 p.m. the same day.

Both teams have been practicing since Aug. 11 and will use their respective intrasquad scrimmages as final preparation for each team's Aug. 25 season opener. The football team will visit Hardin to open the season, while the volleyball team will head to the Eastern A Tip-Off tournament.

"So things have been going awesome," HHS head coach Ryan Gatch said, "and that's not coach talk either. Things have really been going well. I think that our kids have been working really hard and competing. But we are definitely ahead of where we were last year, that's for sure."

Gatch, who is entering his second season at the helm of Pony football, has one big advantage on last season - he already knows who his starting quarterback will be. Last season, Trey Murphy was competing with Ivar Aageson for the job, and at this point, both quarterbacks were still splitting reps.

Yet, Murphy locked down the job with a solid junior season, before it ended prematurely due to injury. However, having an experienced quarterback has the offense running much smoother than last August.

"It's been great working with Trey," Gatch said. "He had that injury last season, but he worked hard. He's also been working really hard this summer and he's been a great leader for us. We have some talented skill guys, but Trey is doing a great job getting everybody lined up and making sure everyone knows what they are doing."

Murphy will be a huge part of the offense this season, but if all goes to plan, Aageson will be, too, as a wide receiver. Aageson heads a deep group of talented pass catchers that also features Ethan Roberts, Tanner Parsons and Brady Ophus. Jazz Schroeder and Mason Dionne will also lead the way in the Ponies' new-look backfield.

There is certainly going to be competition across the board for the Ponies, but with just two returning starters on the offensive line, that's one position coaches will be keeping a close eye on Saturday.

"Overall, we have a lot of competition on the offensive line," Gatch said. "But we are still trying to figure out everything that we have. We think we have seven pretty good guys and that we have a little bit more depth than last year, but we aren't sure who the top five are just yet."

Gatch said things will start with the froshmore game, followed by the varsity scrimmage, which will feature live action between the No. 1's and No. 2's.

"Last year, the Blue-White game was pretty much the first time we were going live," Gatch said. "So this year, we are a lot further ahead."

The football game is the nightcap of Blue-White day, but it will get started with the volleyball scrimmage at 2 p.m. Head coach Tamecia Jarvis will lead the Ponies for a third straight year and will in be charge of a veteran roster that includes returning players Paige Nelson, Emilee Cariveau, Camryn Huston, Katie Donaldson, Alex Donaldson, Logan Huebsch and Sam Oliver. Caitlyn Terry and Cassidy Acor are two others that will contribute at the varsity level.

"I am excited about this season," Jarvis said. "I like this team. I think we have some good senior leadership. I think our seniors want to have success and will hold others accountable and hold each other accountable. I just think this team has good chemistry."

While Jarvis said her varsity roster is mostly set, there are still things she will want to see from her team Saturday.

"Last year, I thought we didn't use our middle hitters as much as we could have," Jarvis said. "I want to see us try to run more plays and try to get some quicks. I don't want everything to be just on high balls. So that will be one thing I am looking for, I want to see more of those things."

Jarvis said the freshmen will start their game at 2 p.m. followed by the JV scrimmage and the varsity scrimmage. She said each match has about an hour time limit, although they want to play three sets in each if possible.

"Last year, our varsity kids didn't get to play much," Jarvis said. "We want to try and play three sets in each, but if things are going long, we will have to cut it short."

Blue-White day starts at 2 p.m. inside the HHS gymnasium with volleyball and concludes with the football scrimmage inside Blue Pony Stadium at 5:30 p.m.

 

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