It's time for the Ponies to tee it up
Last updated 8/15/2022 at 1:54pm
After a couple of different schedule changes, the Havre High boys and girls golf teams are about to tee off on a brand new season.
The Blue Ponies, who have a record number of players out for the team this season, will begin the fall schedule at Wednesday's Fergus Invitational in Lewistown, starting three straight days of golf action for the Ponies. Havre also hosts the Havre INvitational Thursday, then travels to the Browning Invite on Friday.
"It's exciting to get started," Pony head coach George Ferguson said. "We have a great group of kids out for the teams again this year. Probably the most kids we've ever had out for golf, and that in and of itself is really exciting because, we're always trying to grow the sport. It's a great game, and to see so many kids wanting to be a part of it, that's awesome."
The Ponies also have a host of returners out for both the boys and girls teams this fall, each of which finished fourth at last year's Eastern A.
On the boys side, divisional qualifiers Shane Patacsil and Matt Huse are back, as are 2021 varsity players Reid Kato and Lane senior Lane Kinsella. Senior Conner McKay, as well as Ethan Stortz, Jevin Jenkins, senior Dylan Kuhn, Callen Stoner, Noah Barrett, Tanner DeLaRosa and Chason Mader all have experience for last fall as well.
"The boys team will be very competitive," the coach said. "It's a young team overall, but we have a lot of kids who are pretty evenly matched, so there's going to be a lot of close scores, and probably a lot of changes to our lineup throughout the season. But, that will help everyone get better. Competition is always a good thing."
Havre's boys roster also includes newcomers like Quinn Elliot and Carter Spangler, as well as Mason Kinsella, senior Cory Kuefler, Brady Kuefler, Sylas Belcourt, Carter Chganon, Daniel Tilleman, senior Kennny Shellenberger, Kole VanCampen, Aiden Notz, Cash Shubert and senior Joey Wendland.
The Blue Pony girls will be a bit more experienced this season, as they return five players who saw varsity action a year ago, including state qualifier Shea Reber. Calista Pyrak, Callie Bebee, Tierra Parker and Sophie Drew also saw varsity time last season, while returners Chloe Bricker, senior Courtney Burchard and senior Alexa LaBrie will also be very competitive in the Ponny lineup, as will first-year senior Mackenzie Kuhn. Havre's girls lineup also includes returner Cadence Kallenberger, Lilliana Smith, Hannah Gingery, Lydia Little and Aubrey Cavan,
"I really like how much a lot of our girls have improved over the course of last year," Ferguson said. "We have quite a few girls who have the experience now, and that will only help them get better and better. I predict by the time September rolls around, our girls are going to be postihng some great scores, and they're just going to keep getting better even from there."
September isn't far off, and while the Class AS golf season is short and sweet, the Ponies will have plenty of opportunities to get better. Besides the trio of events Havre plays the first week, the Ponies also travel to big tournaments in Hardin, Glendive, Sidney, Billings and Laurel, as well as continue their traditional match-play triangular with Lewisdtown and Livinngston in Harlowtown. The season then culminates with the Eastern A Divisional at Lake Hills in Billings and the Class AState Tournament at the Hamilton Golf Club,
"It's always exciting to get a new year started," Ferguson said. "The kids are great, they're already doing a great job. Our goal is just to keep improving, from all of our beginners and newcomers, to our top varsity players, improvement and making sure we're having fun out there on the course. Those are our two main goals right now.