Abe Winter: Cowboys thinking ‘Why not us’

Abe Winter
Star Columnist

There are many reasons to consider the Custer County District High School football team “the best in the east.” (That’s in Class A, by the way).

Even though the Cowboys lost their first two games, they gained respect by winning their next eight, including the 28-0 whitewashing of previously undefeated Sidney.

Sidney owned victories over the two teams — Billings Central and Laurel — that beat the Cowboys. And even though the Cowboys were destined for a No. 4 seed out of the Eastern A Conference, it’s unlikely any of the remaining quarterfinalists is eager to play them in the playoffs.

CCDHS senior lineman Trey McAvoy may have said it best when he simply stated: “We’re thinking: ‘Why not us’?”

 “I feel we can always do better. We’ve been improving every week,” said Cowboy lineman Hayes Meged.

That improvement, said lineman Nate Colombik, is because of knowledge “of our weaknesses. We found a way to overcome several.”

In the secondary, quick Dayron Johnson, Zack Dinardi, Jess Bellows and Kip Krebsbach also have come up big with key interceptions and tight coverage. “We’re ready,” Johnson said, “and we have a new coverage (scheme) we’re putting in this week.”

That, the Cowboys hope, will make it difficult for talented quarterback Austin Green of Columbia Falls in their matchup at noon Saturday.

The CCDHS offense thrives in good weather and on a dry field, but the Cowboys have shown they can play on any turf. Still, it may not be pleasant playing in freezing temperatures almost 600 miles from home.

Not to worry, said lineman Justin Brown. “It’ll be a long drive,” Brown said, “but we should do well.”

Who would expect anything but that? After all, Dinardi said, “It’s time to make it nine.”



The first volleyball season in nine years has ended at Miles Community College, which was winless in its Region IX schedule and didn’t win since topping Dawson Community College of  Glendive and Williston State in late August. Coach Chase Soennichsen saw his team ousted from the Region IX tournament in Sheridan, Wyoming, with two losses in two games this week. The victories this year, he said prior to the regional, were measured differently.

“As long as we compete and play them better than we did last time, it’s a victory for us,” Soennichsen said. “Every other matchup will definitely be a battle.”

— The hockey season is under way, not just in the professional, junior  and college ranks elsewhere, but also right here in Miles City. The $80 registration fee for players of all ages  is considered one of the lowest in the country, the Miles City Youth Hockey Association reports. Families have other requirements, such as 20 hours of volunteering (they can buy out for $200) and sales of tickets for fundraising. The Laramie Davies Hockey Camp runs today through Sunday at the rink. The cost: $40 for four sessions. Call 406-852-4096 for information.

— Grandparents Don and Kay Gundlach are proud Miles City sports fans these days while watching two grandsons and a great-grandson play. Grandson Gabe Gundlach is the quarterback of the CCDHS Cowboys; his brother Gavin Gundlach is a member of the Miles Community College men’s basketball team, and great-grandson Dylan Gundlach quarterbacked the Vikings to victory in the Little Guy Football “Super Bowl” game.

— After trailing by a whopping 40-12 at halftime and losing 66-49 in the season opener Wednesday, MCC women’s basketball coach Nate Vogel wasn’t totally depressed. Far from it. “We won the second half,” he said.

(Contact Winter at starcity@midrivers.com or 234-0450.)