SHERIDAN — Cody Milmine’s new Sheridan Broncs’ track pullover sticks out. It clashes with the vast array of Buffalo High School apparel he owns.
For years, Milmine had no reason to don the Broncs blue and gold, but upon joining Sheridan’s indoor track and field team this season, the change in wardrobe was necessary.
Milmine is one of six Buffalo tracksters — Alex Cahhal, Tim Clason, Shelby Kovar, Nathan Wagner and Marc Wodahl — that compete for the Broncs’ indoor team before returning to their hometown Bison in spring.
“It’s kind of fun practicing with all the Sheridan kids and getting to know all of them because it’s such a big team,” Wagner said. “In Buffalo, it’s not that big of a team, so it’s interesting in that way.”
Buffalo hasn’t had the participation numbers to warrant an indoor track and field team. In the last few years, only about a half dozen Bison have elected to sign up for the winter sport, and thus it’s more feasible to ship those select few up Interstate 90.
Sheridan indoor track and field head coach Taylor Kelting loves what the six bring to Sheridan. And to keep them engaged with the team, Kelting requires his Buffalo-based student-athletes to practice with the Broncs twice a week.
“We want them to feel part of the team and the kids here (in Sheridan) to feel like they are part of our team, as well,” Kelting said. “And we are more than happy to have them.”
This season, the Buffalo sextet travels to Sheridan on a small activities bus on Mondays and Tuesdays if weather permits; the bus hasn’t been able to make the trip twice this winter because of high winds and snow. When the bus arrives in Sheridan, at around 4:30 p.m., each athlete joins its respective training group. Milmine trains with his sprinting group, Wodahl and Clason work out with the jumpers or the sprinters, Wagner practices with the high jumpers, Kovar delves into sprints and hurdles and Cahhal trains with the distance runners.
On Wednesdays, Thursdays and sometimes Fridays, the Buffalonians remain at school and practice with each other — receiving texts from Kelting on what he wants accomplished. They either traverse their small indoor track or take to the streets surrounding the school.
“Another great part of coming over [to Sheridan] is we are able to get challenged constantly,” Wodahl said. “I think if we practiced just in Buffalo, it would be easier to take a day off, but when we come over here it’s neat to get that challenge.”
The Sheridan practice days are particularly important for an athlete such as Wagner because in Buffalo they don’t have a high jump pit available, so he can’t work on one of his main events.
During days in which the Broncs have meets, their team bus will make a quick pit stop in Buffalo and pick up the six athletes before continuing on to the meet.
While the six Buffalo-based athletes represent just a small fraction of Sheridan’s team, their impact is much larger. Milmine and Wodahl — while contending for top spots individually — run legs of the 1,600-meter relay, which has won multiple times this season.
“It has been really fun running with Alec (Riegert) and Matt (Roma) and getting to know them,” Milmine said. “And being really successful at the same time has been pretty great.”
The boys team has yet to lose a meet this season and appears primed to contend for its first team title in school history. If that becomes a reality, the Buffalo athletes will play a large role. When spring rolls around, the six will return to the Bison for the outdoor season — trading their Sheridan blue and gold uniforms for the hometown black and gold.