Winter: Look for CCDHS Cowboys to be galloping on Saturday

Star Columnist

OK, coach, where are you hiding your 7-footer?

That was the question to Custer County District High School boys basketball coach Houston Finn during a break in practice earlier this week.

He smiled and said, “We don’t have one.” Not even freshman coach Matt Beyer could find one for Finn.

Nor is there anyone taller that 6-foot-3 Steven Ray, who put his cross country sneakers away and switched to his basketball high-tops. Now he’s the “tree” on the Cowboys roster.

They open play Saturday at 4 p.m. in the lone home varsity event on the weekend schedule. The Cowgirls are in Williston for a 3:30 p.m. game on Saturday and the wrestlers open in Sidney in a two-day event starting today.

It’s always exciting when the winter (no pun intended) sports season gets under way. I’m assuming we’ll see a quick-paced team against Williston’s Coyotes.

WHS is my wife’s alma mater, but we’re not a house divided. After all, there’s no cheering along press row. But I’ve always said it’s more enjoyable talking to winning coaches and players.

So we’ll see what happens in the home opener for the Cowboys.


Stats not All-encompassing

Although college coaches like to see statistics of potential recruits, high school coaches sometimes shield them, at least from the media.

“Year-end stats only show a small portion in the big picture and I don’t want to take away from any of the other players on the team,” first-year CCDHS coach Kodi Malnaa said. “The improvement, attitudes, and dynamic of the team I feel built the whole season and every single one of the players on the court and on the bench were key aspects to our team — each unique and vital.

“A lot of (players) were put into roles this season they were not used to, and they all owned it when it was go time.”


Lockwood Noticed
as Teenager

Rodeo judge Wade Berry, who will work at the PRCA National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas from Dec. 7-16, remembers judging the bull riding at the Bucking Horse Sale in Miles City. One of the competitors was a high school student from Volborg.

Yes, the cowboy was Jess Lockwood, now at age 20 the PBR world champion in the event.

“He was outstanding,” Berry said. “I said they need to watch out for him. He’s going to win the world. He’s the best I’d ever seen at that age.”

He was right about that. Lockwood was Rookie of the Year in 2016 and world champ this year.

By the way, it’s a nice gesture on Lockwood’s part to be part of the benefit for 1-month-old Phoenix Marie Burman. Four people will have dinner with Lockwood at the Black Iron Bar and Grill by having the highest bid in tonight’s live auction of the benefit at the MCC Centra.

The benefit starts at 5 p.m and features a hamburger dinner for $7, a silent auction and the live auction starting at 7 p.m.


Cheer Coach is a Veteran

Kelly Janitell has been a CCDHS cheer team coach for 18 years.

“I have been fortunate to be the head cheer coach,” she said. “It all started in 2000, helping my oldest with her cheer tryouts. At that time I was asked to be the assistant coach and the story goes on from there.

“I love my job and really enjoy working with a great group of young ladies.”

They’ll be in action Saturday afternoon.

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