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Pony boys win at East Glacier

 

August 26, 2019

The busiest week of the Havre High golf season is always the first week. And the start to the 2019 season has been no exception.

The opening week of the regular season started back on Monday and Tuesday when the Ponies traveled to the 36-hole Great Falls Invitational. Havre then came home for the Havre Invite on Thursday, but, the Ponies weren’t done.

On Saturday, Havre traveled to East Glacier for the Browning Invitational, which is played at the East Glacier Lodge Golf Course. It was Havre’s third tournament in five days, and yet HHS showed no signs of slowing down. In fact, the Ponies seemed to continue improving, according to HHS head coach George Ferguson.

“East Glacier was a really good day,” Ferguson said. “I think our kids were a little tired, so if anything, that would be the main reason why some scores might not have been as good as they wanted them to be. Even so, I saw all of our kids do some really good things. They all had stretches of really good golf, and a lot of kids brought their scores even further down from the Havre Invite. So I was really proud of the way our kids focused and pushed through some fatigue. They all did a great job.”

The Pony boys certainly did a great job. Havre won its second straight team title by shooting a 356 to beat Frenchtown in a playoff. The Ponies also finished ahead of Polson, Libby, Whitefish, Browning, CMR and Great Falls High.

Individually, Caleb Chambliss continued his fine play, posting a round of 79, good for his second-straight second-place finish. Junior Josh Warp also had a strong showing, finishing in a tie for third after carding an 87. Tyrel Kjersem and Caleb Spangler added rounds of 95, while Clint Owens, making his first varsity start of the year for the Ponies, rounded out the scoring.

“I really like what I’m seeing from our boys team,” Ferguson said. “We are kind of starting to ham-and-egg it, which means, guys are taking turns posting really good scores. They’re picking each other up, and that’s really exciting. Josh Warp played some outstanding golf, and, boy, Caleb Chambliss is just off to a really hot start. But, the bottom line is, our boys, as a team, have gotten better with every tournament this week, and that’s really exciting. This team has a boatload of potential this season.”

Improving is something the Blue Pony girls did Saturday as well. Havre had just three girls in the field for the Browning Invite, and all three posted better rounds than they did at Prairie Farms Golf Course on Thursday.

Junior Jocelyn Staples had the round of the day for Havre, as she shot a career-best 99, just finishing outside the Top 5. Freshman Sylvie McKeon-Hanson shot a 114 and junior Carlee Kato finished at 125.

“The three girls, they combined to shoot 10 strokes better than they did in Havre,” Ferguson said. “That’s awesome. That’s real progress, and that’s what I want to see from the girls. I just want to see them continue to learn high school golf right now, just see them get better and more confident each time they go out there, and those three did that very well on Saturday.”

Indeed. The Ponies fourth 18-hole round of 2019 was a strong one, and, Ferguson reiterated that, that’s all he’s looking for right now.

“It’s a process,” Ferguson said. “We’re trying to build something here, build for the postseason, so these tournaments can’t just be about trying to win or getting medals and such. It also has to be about getting better, gaining confidence and honing their games as we go along. And I thought East Glacier was a really good step forward.

“It was a great first week of the season,” Ferguson added. “I am really proud of the kids. They have been through a lot in a short amount of time. We’re off to a really good start, and I’m really excited about it.”

Havre will attend the Lewistown Invitational today, while the Blue Ponies will then be off until a Sept. 5 match-play tournament in Harlowtown.

 

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