By Pierre Bibbs
Sports Editor 

2018 PCN Sports review


January 2, 2019

Pierre Bibbs

Boxer Ella Jean Lance boxes with her opponent "Little Rocket Man" in the Fight For Our Future charity event for the Ronald McDonald House on Saturday, June 2, at the Malta Pavillion.

#1 Cole wins age bracket in Women's Run

June 13, 2018

On Saturday, May 12, the Mayor of Dodson Terri Cole was able to do something she had never done before; win her age bracket in the annual Montana Women's Run held in Billings.

Cole ran in the two-mile event placing first in the female 75-79 age bracket. She finished in the top 15 percent of runners overall placing 386th of 3423 and ran the race in 23 minutes and 46 seconds.

"I was pretty pleased with my placement overall out of that many runners," Cole told the PCN. "For an old lady that is not bad."

Cole has always been among the top finishers in her age bracket, but first place had always eluded her until now.

"I have placed every single time," Cole said. "The lowest was fourth and now the highest is first, but I have always been second or third in my age group, but I had never made it to first."

Cole runs the race yearly with her daughters.

#2 Mustangs win Choteau Classic

January 24, 2018

The Malta/Whitewater Mustangs Wrestling team hit a major milestone in the 2018 season, winning the Choteau Classic, a two-day event that started on Friday, January 12 and ended on Saturday, January 13.

Thirty-one Class B and C teams converged in the Choteau High School for an event many measure up to the annual State B/C Wrestling Tournament held in Billings.

Malta won the event with a total of 180 points. Thompson Falls took second with 164.5. Whitehall was third with 121.5 and Plains-Hot Springs took fourth with 119.

"The biggest thing is the confidence that this team has and the ability to score points across our roster," Malta Head Coach Ryan LaBrie told the PCN. "It's not just any one guy. Our team has the ability to score points. Even our number two guys are coming through and scoring for us and that makes a huge difference team-wise."

Malta was led by senior Trey Simanton, who has compiled a 24-1 record this season. Simanton took first in the 138-pound class by way of a 14-4 major decision of Wolf Point's Quinn Whitmus (3-1), a senior, who won the 132 title in the 2017 Eastern B/C Divisional Tournament.

Senior Kaden Moore (25-8) took first place in the 145-pound class, pinning junior Dylan Raihl (4-1) of Columbus/Absorkee, at 1:42.

#3 P.C. Fair Indian Relay

August 8, 2018

The Consolation and Championship Heat of the 2018 P.C. Fair Indian Relay packed out the Grandstands in Dodson on the evening of Sunday, August 5.

The championship event was won by the Goes Ahead Pretty team and rider Holman Bronc Real Bird, who edged out Mountain River Relay and their rider Chay Chazz Shambo. The event was emceed by legendary Rodeo voice Ray Champ.

The moment was one of redemption for Real Bird, who had slipped on a transfer earlier in the opening heat against Shambo.

"It's all about the exchange," Real Bird said. "Everything went good. Our start was good, we weren't first but we were up there. I came in and got up there."

The first exchange went well for the top three teams, which included Mountain River Relay and Goes Ahead Pretty.

Shambo would slip on a transfer in the final transfer after holding a lead over Real Bird and the other teams. Real Bird would make a clean transfer and even though he tried, Shambo could not make up the group he had lost in his third and final transfer.

"The last exchange, I was the only one to get up and go," Real Bird said. "That's where you win, the exchange. I just wanted to win. My horses and I wanted to redeem ourselves (from their earlier heat.)"

#4 Simonson and Diesel second in nation

November 7, 2018

The world of college rodeo found out a few weeks ago what the Loring, Phillips County, and many other parts of Montana already knew.

Keira Simonson, daughter of Dan and Judy Simonson of Loring, is a great barrel racer.

On Sunday, September 30, Simonson, a senior at the University of Montana and graduate of Whitewater High School, closed the Fall Semester leading the Big Sky Region Barrel Racing event with 577 points. The closest rider to Simonson is Celie Salmond of Montana State University with 331 points.

With the spring semester of college rodeo starting in April, Simonson and her horse Diesel will look to hold on to their top placing. In the Big Sky Region there are about 70 barrel racers.

"It's hard for me to comprehend that I am actually sitting that good," said Simonson. "Because I have never done this good in college rodeo before."

Simonson is also currently ranked second in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) standings behind NIRA Barrel Racing Champion Ashtyn Carlson of the College of Southern Idaho. The NIRA encompasses all colleges associated with major rodeo events from around the country. There are a total of eleven conferences that participate in NIRA events.

#5 Junior Rodeo to open Grandstand events at Fair

July 25, 2018

For the first time in recent history, the Phillips County Fair is holding a Youth Rodeo on Thursday, August 2, as the opening Grandstand Event.

Registration for the event closes on Thursday, July 26. Prizes per event entry vary.

The event which starts at 7 p.m. will include a Pony Race for kids aged 11 and under, and an Open Saddle Horse Race for kids aged 10-18 at 6 p.m.

"In the saddle horse race they will just race around the track once, for a half a mile," Joey Kill Eagle the event's coordinator said. "We might have two (Pony races) on those races depending (how many) on miniature Shetlands, miniature ponies and regular ponies."

The last five stories are Sports Editor's Choice.

#6 Former M-ette honored

January 17, 2018

Bobbi Knudsen, a former Malta M-ette and Montana State University Billings (MSUB) YellowJacket guard was honored on Saturday, January 6, in a special way.

Knudsen's number, 21, is the third in the history of MSUB Women's Basketball to be hung up in the Corridor of Champions, joining past MSUB greats such as Amy Winslow, Tera Silvius and Men's Yellowjacket greats Roy McPipe and Jim Soft.

Knudsen, the daughter of Jim and Janice Knudsen of Malta, was a three-time All-American with MSUB, leading the Jackets to the 2014 NCAA Division II Sweet 16, where they faced Cal-Poly Pomona for the West Region Championship.

Knudsen would become second in all-time scoring with 1,831 points for MSUB, second in field goals made with 680 and also second in assists with 532.

Knudsen was honored during a pre-game ceremony before the current Yellowjackets squared off against the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves.

"It was pretty humbling seeing everyone stand and clap, while I was walking around," Knudsen told the PCN. "It was a pretty cool moment because I didn't expect that at all. I didn't expect the award at all."

#7 Malta sees fist Legion game in over 15 years

June 6, 2018

In a surprising turn of events, Malta hosted their first American Legion Baseball game since 2002 at Trafton Park on Saturday, June 2.

Malta's Legion B team saw double-header action against Havre's B team. Havre won both games pretty handily, but considering Malta's team is a Bambino team playing up in their first season of Legion Baseball.

"Its great to get baseball back," Malta Co-Coach Ryan Judd said. "Frank (Benson, also a team Co-Coach) got us Legion B certified, so now we are going to get the kids competing at a higher level. We are hoping to keep the kids playing from little league, all the way up."

Malta fell behind quickly in their first game as Havre went up 4-0 in the first inning. The final score was 14-0.

#8 Extreme Midget Wrestling

July 11, 2018

Extreme Midget Wrestling took over Malta's City Hall on Monday, July 2, in an event that featured plenty of entertainment style hardcore wrestling.

The event nearly packed out the upstairs bleachers as well as sixteen tables at floor level.

The event's coordinator, Susan "Peanut" Green of the Mint Bar, was pleased with the outcome of the event and the group's performance.

"It is actually going way better than I had figured," Green told the PCN at the event. "I figured we would have had some hiccups but everything has been going great."

Green was also impressed by the talent of the wrestlers.

"It is pretty impressive and it has been a good show," Green said.

Green's seven-year-old nephew Corvin Salveson has been the most excited about the event from Green's perspective.

He was asked what he thought was going to happen that night.

"I think they are going to punch each other and slam each other on the ground," Corvin said.

He was really excited about the possible use of a steel garbage can, which was on the group's rider, or list of items needed to perform.

"They are probably going to hit each other on the head," Corvin said.

#9 Mustangs remain 2B Champs!

February 21, 2018

The Malta Mustangs were able to retain their status as District 2B Champions, defeating the Poplar Indians 55-41 in the 2018 District 2B Championship last Saturday, February 17, at Wolf Point High School.

The Mustangs were able to make it to the championship game by defeating the Wolf Point Wolves 59-38 on Friday, February 16.

The championship win set up Malta to face the Choteau Bulldogs in the opening game of the 2018 Northern B Divisional Tournament on Thursday, February 22, at 1 p.m.

"That seems to be the team we can't get away from," Malta Head Coach David Costin said. "We seem to play them every year at divisionals."

The Bulldogs lost the 1B consolation finals last Saturday, February 17, to the Fairfield Eagles in a close game that was decided by a score of 60-57.

"They like to play a pressure man-to-man defense," Coach Costin said. "Offensively, they are a team that is high paced, high octane. They are going to put up a ton of shots from anywhere. They love to drive it, they love to shoot the three. This weekend is going to come down to being able to stay in front of those guys."

Depending on the outcome of the game, Malta will either face the Glasgow Scotties or Rocky Boy Northern Stars, who are both on the same side of the bracket.

#10 Fight Night!

June 6, 2018

Hundreds came out to the Malta Pavilion for Fight For Our Future, a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and Boxing event put on by KillEagle Productions last Saturday, June 2.

The night featured eight fights, including three MMA fights, four submission only matches and one boxing match.

In the Co-Main Event, Jake French, a former State B Wrestling Champion from Choteau, stepped into the ring to face Busby's Reuben Bam Roundstone, who was in his third match of the evening. Though French showed his wrestling prowess on the match and appeared to have the upper hand, he did not protect his head, forcing referee Ted Reiter to call the match.

Bam Roundstone won the match by technical knockout at the conclusion of the first round.

"When we used to wrestle, he was a big name but he was a little bit older than me," Roundstone said. "I just stayed calm and relied on my training that I have had over the past nine months."

Bam has been in MMA for the past seven years.

"Everything I do, I do for the cage," Roundstone said. "It's all self-defense. You have to defend yourself to keep yourself alive."

In the final Main Event, David Gates of Bozeman faced Fort Belknap's Warren Brockie who had previously won the Havoc on the Hi-Line Main Event in June of 2015.

Gates won the match handily and quickly, within the first minute of the first round.

"I had to get out of there quick," Gates said. "I'm 41 years old. I just turned 41 May 17. Wes was on Facebook, saying that he needs fighters out here and that it was for the Ronald McDonald House. I figured that this was the best thing I could do. Get up here and get myself in the main event. Shout out to my opponent Warren Brockie. He stepped up big time in a pro fight. This was a good event we put on for Malta."

PCN Archives

Tant Anderson rides in the Miniature Indian Relay Race during the 2019 P.C. Fair Indian relay event.


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