BC’s Egan Lester commits to Oredigger football

BC’s Egan Lester commits to Oredigger football
Central's Egan Lester takes a hand off from Drew Badovinac and runs behind blocker Joseph Sehulster Sept. 3 in Butte. (Butte Sports file photo)

By Bill Foley

Egan Lester might have been overlooked by the Class A coaches when it came to All-State recognition.

The Butte Central senior, however, was always on the radar of the Montana Tech Orediggers.

On Friday, Lester committed to play football for the Orediggers, picking his hometown school over playing baseball at a handful of colleges in North Dakota and Montana.

“At first it was tough because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to play college baseball or college football,” Lester said. “I really wanted to stay in Butte and play for the Digs. That will be a blast.”

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Lester said he will officially sign with the Orediggers at a ceremony at Butte Central after the Christmas break. He announced his commitment on Twitter on Friday.

The commitment comes after an outstanding season for Lester, though it went largely unnoticed because of the continual COVID-19 delays to the BC season.

Still, Lester finished the season No. 3 in rushing in the Class A. He ran for 726 yards and seven touchdowns on 134 carries. That is an average of 5.4 yards per carry.

Lester finished tied for the Class A lead in rushing yards per game at 121.0 yards per game, according to Class A statistician Brian Reed. He also tied for the top spot with four 100-yard rushing games.

The numbers for Lester would have been even more impressive if he ran for more than 17 yards in BC’s de facto bowl game against Glendive in Lockwood. The Maroons were focusing more on their younger players in that late-added game to the schedule.

Through his first five games, Lester averaged 141.8 yards per game. That put him on pace for 1,276 yards if the Maroons played all nine-games. That would have ranked him among the greatest Maroons of all time.

Reed put Lester, who received second-team all-conference recognition, on his all-snub team following the season.

The Orediggers took notice of Lester even before he started racking up 100-yard games in the discombobulated season. As a junior, Lester averaged 4.6 yards per carry while leading the Maroons with 611 yards. He ran for 100 yards three times and scored five touchdowns.

“About the start of this football season, (Tech offensive line) coach Dan Thatcher would come to our practices,” Lester said. “After practice one day, him and coach (Kyle) Samson talked to me.”

Lester also stood out at cornerback and safety for the Maroons. He brings a versatility to the Orediggers that Tech coaches have to love.

“Right now, they’re looking at me as a slot, runny back type or maybe even a DB,” Lester said. “I’m not really sure what position I’ll be playing yet.”

Lester has also not yet decided his major on the hill. The son of June and Sheriff Ed Lester, currently packs a 4.02 GPA at Central.

Lester also contributes for the defending Class A state champion Butte Central basketball team. He has played tennis and ran track in his years at the school.

This past summer, Lester stood out for the Miners in Butte’s best baseball season in recent memory. He played all three outfield positions and hit .346. He showed versatility on the diamond, too, by playing infield for the younger Muckers before moving to the outfield with the Miners.

He will be a senior this coming baseball season. He said he is undecided on whether he’ll return to the Miners for a super senior season in 2022.

Lester pointed out that his college filed will be the same as his high school field. He earned four varsity letters while playing for the Maroons on the Bob Green Field at Alumni Coliseum.

“I will be able to play on the same field that I did in high school,” Lester said. “I’m pretty excited.”

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