NASHVILLE — It only takes a minute talking with Brown County football lineman Chester Bond to understand why he was so important to the Eagles.
Bond was asked about the very tough chore of being a defensive tackle, where double-teams can be the norm. “It’s rough,” Bond said with a smile. “You’re on your butt a lot. It’s not fun. But whatever it takes to get the linebacker through the hole without being blocked.”
Through his three years as a starter, Bond was willing to sacrifice to help his team, and that quality was highly valued by coach Ken Wendling, who made Bond the left offensive tackle so he could protect quarterback Dillon Boknecht’s blind side. After an outstanding senior season on both the offensive and defensive lines, Bond has earned The Republic’s Brown County Player of the Year honor.
Seldom are linemen so highly valued, but Bond was respected by the coaching staff and his teammates.
“It was a lot of hard work,” Bond said.
At 6-foot-2, 245 pounds, he was a force on both sides of the ball. He had a hard time picking his favorite side.
“That’s a tough one,” he said. “I guess defense. You get to tackle people.”
Although he was willing to tackle any job, Bond couldn’t help the Eagles overcome some inconsistent play, and they finished with a 2-8 record.
“The season didn’t go the way we wanted,” Bond said. “I guess we just had some poor judgement. We had our ups and downs.”
Brown County did score a 22-21 upset against Northview in the final regular-season game.
“It was fantastic winning that game,” Bond said.
But his favorite moment actually came in a 7-0 loss to Edgewood on Oct. 5.
“It was raining and pretty muddy,” he said. “I liked it. It was interesting. And it also was my birthday.”
Personally, Bond said his hard work during the summer paid off during the season as Brown County used some high-tempo offensive and defensive strategies.
“That helped my game a lot,” he said. “And I was in better shape this year. I also got mentally tougher.”
He had to be tough as a shoulder injury that he suffered two years ago nagged at him all season.
“It still bothers me, but I plan on getting it looked at now,” he said.
Bond will consider playing football in college, but he also is thinking about joining the Army.
“I want to work on helicopters,” he said.
Whatever he decides to do, he will look back fondly on his final season, even if his team did struggle.
“I am going to miss Friday night games,” he said. “I’ll miss that feeling that everyone got.”