Winter: Hard work? No problem

Abe Winter
Star Columnist

When talking to several seniors on the Custer County District High School football team, there were comments mentioning hard work. But not one complained about it.

“Yes sir, I’ll miss being part of the Cowboy football team and everything that goes with it,” lineman Caden Colombik answered without hesitation when asked if he would miss the program.

“I’ll remember the family and partnerships with all my teammates. We’ve made a strong showing of what we are as a team.”

Lineman Hayes Meged said: “I’m going to miss being a Cowboy, being part of a team. I feel we’ve come a long ways and we’ve gotten a lot better. It was a learning experience.”

Colton Derenburger, who transferred from Forsyth, has enjoyed being part of what he calls “a new family.”

I like ‘em,” he added. “Everybody treats me great and we all have fun when we’re playing. I’ll miss ‘em.”

Kon Speelmon said he wanted to be part of the team a long time ago.

“It’s really cool … to have always been looking up to the high school players,” he said. “It seems a little unreal.

“It’s been a good year and I’ve been having a lot of fun.”

Senior lineman Justin Brown, one of the team’s leaders, moved to Miles City from Laurel midway through his sophomore year.

“It’s been fun and we’re a close-knit team,” Brown said. “I learned a lot, not just about football but about life. It teaches you to be accountable for your actions.”

Hard work, it would seem, hasn’t been a problem. It led to six straight victories and probably another one tonight to close the regular season at home against Havre at 6 p.m.



— CCDHS senior Mitch Groton certainly enjoyed the winning streak.

“Winning helps, for sure, and it’s been a lot of fun,” the senior said. “I’ve made a lot of friends and I’ve come a long way. I love the game.”

— Senior Shawn Beeler can be considered a double-transfer, having moved from Denton to Forsyth to Miles City. He is happy here because Forsyth switched to 8-man football. Still, he could be playing with an undefeated team in Forsyth.

“I’m playing with a great bunch of guys here,” he said. “It’s more of a family than I’ve ever had on a football team.

“I feel we could go a long way in the playoffs.”

— Senior receiver Kip Krebsbach would like the season to continue for a long time.

“It’s going to be different, not making more memories with my friends,” he said, pondering the future without football. “I want to keep it going. I think we can.”

One memory: “Going from 0-2 to 6-2 is quite an achievement. We made a lot of improvement.”

— Placekicker Deven Grant is glad he changed his mind about playing his senior year.

“I wasn’t planning on playing, but I knew I’d miss it,” he said. “I knew sitting in the stands watching these guys would be a bummer.

“Playing a sport we all love. (Winning) will be a good memory down the road.”

— When the season ends, receiver Zack Danardi knows it will have quite an impact.

“It’s going to be weird, going to school and not having to practice,” he said. “It’s going to be weird on Fridays and not having a game.

“Some of these guys who I usually only spent time with in football, now they are my best friends.”

— Losing, then winning, had an impact on lineman Brian Regan. He said he’d miss “all of the hard work (while) I spent time with my friends in the locker room and on the field.”

Of the winning streak, he added: “It’s just us doing what we do. We’re winning the games that we should.”

And, like 15 other senior players and one student manager, he’s hoping for a few more before his prep football career is completed.

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