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Chester was head coach of the Madras varsity football team from 1976 through 1990

PMG PHOTO: LON AUSTIN - Dasen Begay (65) participates in a ceremonial drum circle to honor Rod Chester before the Buffs' football game with Crook County last week. Begay joined in with the Quartz Creek Singers, a group based in Warm Springs.Rod Chester, the head varsity football coach at Madras High School's from 1976 through 1990, was honored Friday prior of the homecoming football game.

Chester died after a bought with cancer on Memorial Day, May 31.

Assistant football coach Butch David, a member of the 1986 Chester-coached team that hosted (and won) the first ever state playoff game in Madras, spoke and outlined the coach's accomplishments with the Buffalos. He would also read a note of thanks from members of Chester's family regarding the honoring.

The ceremony included a moving drum circle presented by the Quartz Creek Singers, members of the Warm Springs tribe.

A legendary prep football player at Vale High School, Chester became the MHS coach in 1976. After a solid first two years, including a win over Redmond on the road in his first game as coach, the program dipped to a 3-15 record in 1978 and '79.

However, the seven seasons between 1980 through 1986 were a historic highpoint for the program. During those years, Chester's teams finished no lower than tying for second place in league record-wise. His teams reached the state playoffs in 1981, '85 and '86. They finished tied for first in the Greater Oregon League for three straight seasons — 1982, '83 and '84 — but were kept out of the playoff via coinflip and other tie-breakers.

In 1986, the Buffs finished 5-1 in league and got the Greater Oregon's top playoff spot and hosted the program's first home state playoff game. The Buffs beat Gladstone 26-20. They would then host Dallas but lost that game 52-13.

In his final four years at the helm, Chester's team went 12-24.

His overall record at Madras was 60-76. His record in his first four seasons and his final four years was a combined 22-49. However, between 1980 and 1986, his squads went a combined 38-26.


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