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It's their night, their last night at home

11 Blue Pony seniors geared up to make Friday night a special one

There has always been something special about playing football at Havre High. And one of the great traditions within the program is the final walk the seniors will take this Friday Night inside Blue Pony Stadium.

The walk, which is well known to Havre sports fans is when all the senior football players and cheerleaders walk from end zone to end zone, hand-in-hand, one last time. And this Friday, the senior class of 2016 will get their chance to participate in one of Havre football's most important traditions.

But this season, senior night will mean even more, especially to this year's seniors, the 11 of whom have stuck if out for four years. That includes team captains Dane Warp and Nate Rismon, as well as Travis Adams, Logan Pleninger, Cole Keller, Thomas Keith, Keegan Kennelly, Alex Stilger, Austin Burnside, Patrick Leeds and Daniel Almas.

Of course Friday night's game against Lewistown will be special for them. But, it's not just because it's their final game under the lights, it's also because a win will mean the Ponies are Central A conference champions for the first time since 2011.

During this group's four years of high school football, Havre has made the playoffs three times. But, the Ponies have only won one playoff game during that time and no conference championships. So, if HHS can achieve that, it will be a big feather in the cap of this year's senior class.

"It will be a special night being that it is the scheduled senior night and we will get to do the walk and stuff," Warp said. "But we are counting on it not being our last home game.'

"There are going to be a lot of emotions," Keith said. "But we are just going to try and play as hard as we can to win this football game."

The fact that the Ponies get to close out their home schedule this season against arch rival Lewistown only adds to the intrigue. But this senior class, which has never been a part of a team that finished with a winning record in football, has much higher aims than just a win Friday night.

"We have been playing for fours years now," Adams said. "And we have just been waiting to have a chance to win a conference championship. I think that we are ready for this. It's going to be an emotional night. It's our time to shine."

It's obvious the players are excited for the opportunity they have ahead of them Friday, but they also took time to reflect on their careers, with the realization coming that their days of playing high school football are numbered.

"You have to try and treat it just like any other game," Pleninger said. "But you have to do what you have to do."

It's always hard to see a senior class go, but for Havre head coach Mark Samson, who is in his first season at the helm of HHS, it will be particularly hard to see this year's class go, in part because of the little amount of time he got to spend with them.

"I think they are finally getting how to do things the we want them done," Samson said. "When I became the coach, I told the kids we were going to do things differently than they have been done before. As a coaching staff, we do things a certain way, but I have to give them credit. They have worked hard and done what we have asked of them. I think they are really starting to do things the way that we want, so I just wish I could coach all of them for another year."

The Ponies started slowly this season and won just one of their first three games. But as they enter senior night, they have won four straight and if all goes as planned Friday night, the senior class will do the walk not only to celebrate their careers at Havre High, but also their first conference championship.


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