Petross headed for Dickinson, and he’ll have lots of CCDHS company

Abe Winter
Star Staff Writer

Caleb Petross, who graduated Sunday from Custer County District High School after placing second in the long jump (21 feet, 11 inches after qualifying at 22-2.5) is looking forward to attending college and playing two sports in North Dakota. He’ll compete in both football (wide receiver) and track and field (long jump and triple jump) at Dickinson State University.

At 5-foot-8, 160 pounds, Caleb won’t be a giant on the football field.

“I’m short,” he said, then laughed. “I’m excited. A lot of my friends who I competed with and against are going there.”

Two coaches — Pete Stanton (football) and Jenn Hartman (track) — are excited to have Petross enroll. Hartman, in fact, is from Miles City and was a star athlete at CCDHS.

“She’s the jumping coach,” Petross said. “She was really good when she was here.”

Among the friends joining Petross at DSU are fellow 2017 CCDHS graduates Tyler Burk, Savanna Walker and Jenna Swope.


Winter Icings

— When Christian Stradley and Deven Doughty were told by their coaches that they would play doubles on the CCDHS boys tennis team in their junior year, it wasn’t exactly a situation of two standouts being united.

“He was always No. 1 on the team since seventh grade,” said Stradley, who took up the sport as a freshman. “I was awful. I didn’t get better until junior year.” 

The 5-foot-10, 150-pound Stradley didn’t have a slim partner; rather, he’s somewhat oversized for the sport at 6-0, 225.

“I always tell people that (Deven) is the tennis player and I’m the athlete,” Stradley said.

“That’s right,” Doughty said, adding that placing third was satisfying. “It felt really good, especially for it being my first and only state tournament,” Doughty said.

“We basically went into without any expectations,” Stradley said. “We felt it was just a blessing.”

But their thoughts changed in Whitefish. “Just before the first match we agreed that since we’re already there we should win the whole thing,” the confident Doughty said.

Instead, after winning two matches, they lost in the semifinals, thus avoiding a fifth match against eventual state champions Darnell Lefthand and Michael Neeser from Hardin who were 4-0 against the CCDHS tandem.

“We would have liked a fifth shot, but walking out with third-place (medals) was satisfying,” Stradley said.

“If we weren’t going to go all the way, I definitely wanted them to do it,” Doughty added.

— It’s no secret that people travel a long way to either compete or watch the annual Bucking Horse Sale.

For instance, three sisters from Colorado and Georgia who are nieces of Verden Lavin of Miles City, were having a ball the whole weekend. All three brought their daughters.

So the guest list of six included Teresa Tobin and daughter Allie of Frederick, Colorado; LeeAnn Rodenbaugh and daughter Allie of Thornton, Colorado, and Marlene Rogers and daughter Bailey of Warren Robbins, Georgia.

Marlene and her daughter flew to Denver to join her sisters for the drive to Miles City.

“I don’t think you can find any atmosphere like this,” Marlene said.

They were rooting for the Buntin brothers team — TC and Tanner of Arizona, and Serafin Robles of  California — in the Wild Horse Races.

“Last year we got him (TC, the rider) a pink shirt to go with his tutu and he won wearing it,” LeeAnn said.

By the way, when I asked TC Buntin to offer the tutu as a surprise gift to a young Montana girl, he did. But she steadfastly refused to take it. So he’ll continue to use it, maybe even at the 2018 BHS, when his team tries to repeat as the average champion.

(Contact Abe Winter at or 406-234-0450.)