HAVRE — The Havre football team ended last year near the bottom of the Eastern A, but entering head coach Ryan Gatch’s fourth season, the Blue Ponies are intent on changing course. Despite just a 2-7 record last year, Gatch said the group showed a lot of good signs that should make 2019 exciting.
Havre senior Mason Dionne can see it, too.
"A lot of our conference games, I feel like we were right there. I think our (quarterback) is really strong. Our line, we’ve got all our seniors there and they’re going to be really good," Dionne said. "Our defense should be really, really good. A lot of the strengths from last year should be even better this year."
And with Belgrade now in the Class AA ranks, just nine teams are competing for six playoff spots in the East. Senior tackle Kasee Henderson said the Blue Ponies can chase one of those spots behind their physicality.
"We’re some dudes. We’re some nasty guys. We finish every play. We’re going to let you know, too. We’re going to run the ball at you. We’re going to shove it down your throat. That’s what I’m most excited about. We’re ready to go," Henderson said. "I think we run the ball pretty good. That’s one of the things the Eastern A is known for, is running the ball. I think we can be one of the top teams doing that."
"Physical football is what it takes to win in the Eastern A. That’s where we’re trying to get our guys, with that mindset every day. Come to work. Come to work, smash pads and let’s get after some people," Gatch agreed. "Our players are bought in, and it’s a lot of fun to be around them because they’re really excited and energetic about this season. So it’s a lot of fun for our coaches and for our players."
The Blue Ponies open the season at Sidney on Friday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m.