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Letter to the Editor - Losing a teammate brings back memories

 


Editor,

Time goes so very fast and many highlight memories fade more quickly than we realize or accept. Recently the 1970 Havre High football team lost a good player and an outstanding teammate, Steve Vandeberg.

Steve was very instrumental that season and as the special barbecue host when we had our team reunion years later. We all had gained recognizable talents in the Beef and Brew category of life. We would be remiss if we did not thank him one more time for his playing and reunion efforts. And, if we have one more reunion in conjunction with a Fossil Festival, the first toast (of many) will be dedicated to Steve and those we have lost.

If we are not fortunate enough to participate in one more 1970 Reunion it is never too late to say “thank you” to Havre High School and the Havre community. That fall was the first year these juniors and seniors played together as a team. That campaign was the inaugural that the coaches decided to use an innovative offense called the Triple Option. Finally, it was the culmination of hard work and talents that dictated the use of Havre’s two-platoon system in football. More playing time, greater versatility at old and new positions, and an affectionate, contagious, level of competition known as the “Red vs Blue”.

Coaches Molen, Gilder and Ryan became leaders and mentors second to none. Win or lose, the development of these young men took on strength and loyalty they had never shared before and would in some small part carry for the rest of their lives. The added element of enjoyment would create smiles too numerous to count for those players’ sporting memories.

Havre High School, our classmates, our families and the Havre Community did not just “come along for the Ride,” they created “the Ride.” When the fog rolled into Columbia Falls that perfect fall night and the championship ended, the 1970 Havre Blue Ponies would have a lifetime to share and embrace their team and a community.

Thank you and hugs to my teammates and Coaches,

Pat Kelly

Kalispell

 

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