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Blue Ponies card good rounds in Sidney

 

September 16, 2019

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Carlee Kato and the Havre High golf teams competed in the Sidney Invitational last Friday. The meet was a preview for the upcoming Eastern A Divisional, which will also be at the Sidney Country Club Sept. 26. Havre plays at Billings and Laurel this week.

By Havre Daily News Staff

The Havre High golf teams will play the 2019 Eastern A Divisional in less than two weeks at the Sidney Country Club. So it was a good thing the Blue Ponies added the Sidney Invitational to their schedule this season.

Havre was in Sidney Friday for the Sidney Invite, which was a full preview of the new-look Eastern A divisional. The tournament featured every team, minus East Helena, that will be in attendance at this year's tournament.

New Blue Pony head coach George Ferguson was excited about the day in Sidney, regardless of the scores, or where his teams ended up.

"First, I thought we did quite well," Ferguson said. "Most of our kids had never seen the golf course, and it's a very challenging track. So I was happy with how we played. But more importantly, the fact that we played the course two weeks before divisionals, and against our entire division, that was huge, and I thought our kids did a great job. They were focused, they understood we were there to prepare for divisionals, to learn the course, and ultimately, to keep getting better. So I thought our kids accomplished all of those goals."

In the process, Havre played some solid golf, too.

The Pony boys finished with a team score of 368, which put them just behind Sidney for a top-four finish. Individually, junior Caleb Chambliss posted an 87, for a Top 15 finish, while Josh Warp, Tavish McLean and Kale Reno each shot 94 or better, and senior Tyrel Kjersem rounded out the scoring for the Ponies.

"Our boys played some strong golf," Ferguson said. "Can they play better? Yes, they are very capable of playing better. But I was looking more at where we fit in our division, and what we need to do going forward, so, I thought our boys got a lot out of the tournament.

"Our division is really strong," he continued. "Laurel and Billings Central are very good and very deep. But at the same time, with where we finished, our boys are very confident that they will be right in the hunt at divisionals. They played very well, and now that they've played 18 holes at Sidney, I think they'll go back there with a lot of confidence in two weeks."

The Havre girls also showed some moxie in Sidney. The Ponies shot a 476 team score which put them in sixth place overall. Jocelyn Staples led the way for Havre with a 112, while both Sophie Kirkpatrick and Sylvie McKeon-Hanson shot 114. Junior newcomer Carlee Kato rounded out the scoring for HHS.

"I was really proud of the girls," Ferguson said. "It was one of their best team scores of the season, and they did it on a tough golf course. They played some really good golf and, like the boys, I think they'll have a lot more confidence when we get back to Sidney for divisionals."

With divisonals not far off, Havre has just one week to fine-tune things. The Ponies will battle much of the Eastern A again at Thursday's Billings Central Invite, held at Eaglerock Golf Course, then play at the Laurel Country Club in the Laurel Invite Friday. Laurel will be the site of this year's state tournament Oct. 3-4.

"Our kids are doing great," Ferguson said. "I feel like they're doing exactly what I was aiming for, and that is to just keep improving. I'm seeing a lot more consistency out of them, and that's what we want, to be as ready for the postseason as we possibly can be. So this week is big. We have some qualifying to get through, and then our last two tournaments of the regular season, and both of those courses will really help us prepare for divisionals and state."

 

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