Friday Night Lights Feature: Homecoming at Havre High
The Havre High football team prepares to charge out of the tunnel during a high school football game earlier this month in Havre. Tonight, the Blue Ponies will run out of the tunnel in front of an emotionally-charged homecoming crowd when they take on the Lewistown Golden Eagles at Blue Pony Stadium.
Homecoming is a longtime tradition that brings a school and community together with a number of events. Whether it is the softball game at the Six Avenue Memorial Field for Havre High students, which was held on Tuesday, or the homecoming dance on Friday night, there is something fun for everybody. And while golf, cross country, cheerleading and volleyball are all in season, the Friday night football game seems to be on everybody's mind.
"Homecoming is always a big event for the community," Havre High Activities Director Kyle Fisher said. "It has always been a big event and has been a big tradition for many, many years. It is just a good time for people to get back to Havre and watch the activities and for kids to participate in front of fans in band, cheerleading, volleyball, golf, football or cross country.
"And this is a big game," Fisher said. "Our football team is playing for a conference title and this is as big a game as any for the team."
Tonight the Central A Blue Ponies will try to round out homecoming week with a key conference win over the rival Lewistown Golden Eagles.
The Ponies enter the game 1-0 in conference play and are set to make a run at the Central A conference title. And while the game holds a lot of importance, athletes also take the time to enjoy everything else this proud and festive week has to offer.
"The dance is always pretty fun," Blue Pony quarterback Justin Jensen said. "But the energy during homecoming week is always a lot different than normal because everybody is excited and just having fun. I get a little bit more nervous for the homecoming game because we have a bigger crowd and they get a little more wild. Your adrenaline also gets going more than it would in a normal game."
Fans seem to flock to Blue Pony stadium during homecoming, and they should be in store for a good game. The Ponies will face the Eagles at home, giving Havre home field advantage for the first time in three weeks.
And while it is a hectic week leading up to the big game, it is business as usual for the Blue Ponies.
"Havre always gets excited about the football game," Havre High head coach Jason Christenson said. "And that is great because we have such great fans. And the kids know that when they show up to the game they will have all of those fans there cheering for them and it is going to be a loud and rowdy game. The kids practiced hard and prepared themselves for the game just like every other week, but in the back of their minds they know that they have an opportunity to put the icing on the cake so to speak for the fans. We will play hard and hopefully bring home a win in front of our home crowd."
Sometimes homecoming can be looked at as a distraction to athletes, but the Ponies take it as incentive to just play well. And while this will be the first time for Thurman Holdsclaw to play in the homecoming game, he too sees it as business as usual.
"I am excited to see how many people are there to watch us play and see how well we can perform," Holdsclaw said. "And I don't really think we did (anything different). We just prepared like we normally do, and this game is important because it is conference and we need to win these games so we can be No. 1 in the conference and get that bye in the playoffs."
Tonights homecoming game between HHS and Lewistown kicks off at 7 at Blue Pony Stadium.
Havre High Starters
#7 Justin Jensen, QB, 5-8, 160, SR
#30 Casey Schaub, RB, 6-1, 200, SR
#5 Ryan Brandt, RB, 5-8, 170 SR
#6 Brayden Grimson, WR, 5-10, 175, SR
#84 Mark Vukasin, WR, SR
#10 Brandon Smith, TE, 6-3, 210, SR
#55 Ethan Hettinger, OL, 5-10, 235, SR
#50 Kameron Pribyl, OL, 5-10, 180, SR
#61 Joey Devries, OL, 6-0, 235, SR
#52 Evan Flathers, OL, 5-11, 195, SR
#75 Trent Nystrom, OL, 5-10, 235, SR
#30 Casey Schaub, LB, 6-1, 200, SR
#43 Eli Hinebauch, LB,5-10, 160, SR
#50 Kameron Pribyl, LB, 5-10, 180, SR
#2 Zach Plum, DB, 5-8, 160, JR
#5 Ryan Brandt, DB, 5-8, 170 SR
#6 Brayden Grimson, DB, 5-10, 175, SR
#84 Mark Vukasin, DB, SR
#21 Thurman Holdsclaw, DL, 6-2, 200, JR
#10 Brandon Smith, DL, 6-3, 210, SR
#52 Evan Flathers, DL, 5-11, 195, SR
#75 Trent Nystrom, DL, 5-10, 235, SR
Blue Ponies are 1-0 in conference play, 2-3 overalll
Last Game: def. Belgrade 48-19 in Belgrade
Next Game: at Libby
Blake Phelps, QB, 6-1, 200, SR
Dylan Stenseth, RB, 6-1, 218, SO
Ethan Blythe, RB, 5-8, 180, SO
Kyle Parry, WR, 5-10, 160, SR
Carson Feller, WR, 5-8, 160, SR
Curtis Cauffman, TE, 5-11, 190, SR
Andy Butcher, OL, 6-4, 205, JR
Bill Thompson, OL , 6-2, 190, SR
Seth Walters, OL, 5-10, 185, SR
Jarrett Guyer, OL, 5-11, 190, JR
Briar Tuss, OL, 5-11, 215, SR
Jerime Granot, LB, 5-8, 140, SR
Jayme Rupp, LB, 5-10, 155, SR
Dylan Stenseth, LB, 6-1, 218, SO
Jordan Snapp, DB, 5-9, 140, SR
Kyle Parry, DB, 5-10, 160, SR
Carson Feller, DB, 5-8, 160, SR
John Chamberlin, DB, 5-8, 160, SR
Curtis Cauffman, DL, 5-11, 190, SR
Blake Phelps, DL, 6-1, 200, SR
Briar Tuss, DL, 5-11, 215, SR
Seth Walters, DL, 5-10, 185, SR
Eagles are 0-0 in conference play, 2-2 overalll