Fearless Stratton Eppard helping Chester take flight

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Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 11:30 PM CDT
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CHESTER, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - For the Chester Flyers to take flight, Stratton Eppard has to be their captain.

“He’s the heartbeat of our team to be honest with you. He’s legitimately that guy that basically says hop on my back, lets go get this done!” Chester Head Coach Ken Prorok says.

That came, in large part, from growing up the younger brother of former Flyer standouts Devin and Austin.

“When Chester went 8-0, when we went undefeated, my brothers were on that team. I was always just the little one. They would always beat on me. They’d always need another one to play sports and I’d just go play with them. They would always beat on me so that just pretty much made me fearless of anything really.” Chester Senior Stratton Eppard says.

It shows in the way Stratton plays linebacker.

“What I do best, probably on defense, is just going down hill and hitting hard, filling gaps and stuff like that.” Eppard says.

Which can also be said of the way he plays quarterback, and Eppard had to have a thick skin his first two years when the Flyers won just three games.

“He had to get tough and resilient at an early age. He’s pretty tough. There’s not a whole lot that’s going to get thrown at him that’s going to rattle him. If something doesn’t go right he buckles down, mentally he can make that adjustment, and then physically he’s one of those guys that says ‘okay, next play lets go again’!” Prorok says.

After a 6-3 season as junior, Stratton has the Flyers soaring to a 4-1 start, and hoping to do something his brothers couldnt.

Lead Chester to it’s first ever state championship game.

“We’re just hoping we can be one of those first teams to do that and leave other kids with that dream and have that goal to do that too.” Stratton says.

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