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George Ferguson Column: True Grit at the Blue Pony Corral

Picture this. You're a young football team. Many of you have only played three varsity high school football games in your career and all of them are losses.

Just the year before, you watched your older mentors score big, make huge plays and go all the way to the state semifinals.

You're a member of the Havre Blue Ponies, a football program which is considered one of the most successful and powerful programs in Class A.

Now you're trying desperately to get your first win under your built.

That picture is not a pretty one, and it's one filled with a lot of pressure for young men 15-18 years old.

And that's why Friday night's 40-26 Havre Blue Pony win over the Sidney Eagles at Blue Pony Stadium was so special. For many of the young Blue Pony players, it's a game they won't soon forget.

After graduating so many seniors from the 2011 Blue Pony squad which reached the Class A semifinals before falling to Dillon, it isn't a surprise that the Ponies have had some growing pains so far in 2012.

After all, on offense, defense, and special teams, the Ponies have new starters all over the field, and even newer backups. So the fact that Havre has had some bumps in the road so far shouldn't be shocking to anyone and it should not have been a reason for the Pony players to hang their heads.

That's the nature of high school football.

But on Friday night, the Ponies got over one of the biggest bumps of theyoung season. They got their first win, and that will only serve to make them better.

This Havre team is young, there's no doubt about that. But they are athletic and fast and explosive and, from what I've seen, they'll only get better.

They also showed me some mental toughness too. Because when you've lost three in a row, and when you've taken a beating at the hands of physical teams like Butte Central and Miles City, it's not easy to keep your head up, it's not easy to come right back and try again the next week.

But that's exactly what the Ponies did against Sidney. They showed some grit and some toughness, and they showed fans just why no team should overlook them this season.

The win over Sidney was just what this HHS team needed and it was a great way for them to go into Central A Conference play.

I'm not saying there won't be more bumps and more difficult times ahead for this young Pony squad. Again, that's the nature of high school football.

But for one night, the Ponies showed they are growing, showed they are coming on strong and showed just what the future holds.

There's no doubt in my mind, the future, which still includes this season, has some good things in store for this Blue Pony squad.


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