The Xenith Live Your Game Spotlight is a content feature covering the great schools and football programs across the country, taking an in-depth look at how teams from different regions train, play, and live their game.
St Stephens, WY – Head coach Billy Brost and senior Jude Jenkins are certainly not strangers to one another. Coach Brost has been Jude’s football coach since seventh grade; he also coaches him on the track team and is one of his social studies teachers. This familiarity is a true reflection of the strong, long-term relationships that have been built within the athletic department and surrounding community at St. Stephens.
St. Stephens Indian School is a Bureau Indian Education funded school “committed to teaching their students the skills they need to succeed in today’s world while strengthening their ties to their Native American culture and traditions.” Coach Brost emphasized how important it is to him and his coaching staff that they keep the Native American heritage at the forefront of everything they do.
“We implement as much of our culture into what we do. We speak to the elders on a consistent basis and get their input on things they’d like to see improved upon. It’s very important that the students and athletes understand their culture and their heritage.”
As Coach Brost enters his twenty-fifth-year coaching and fifth season at St. Stephens, he feels like they have a real shot to get into the playoffs for the first time in fifty-nine years. He has been responsible for rebuilding the program from the ground up and “feels like every year’s group can be that group [that gets into the playoffs] and one of these times it’s going to happen. If everyone does their job, we will enjoy success.” All Coach Brost wants is for the kids’ hard work to be acknowledged; especially the ones who missed out on a season last year.
The Eagles of St. Stephens refer to last year as “The Lost Season” as it was canceled due to COVID-19.
“It was devastating for the boys,” said Brost, “Coming into 2020 we felt like we had all the pieces into place. With the pandemic the tribal leaders felt it was better to keep the student-athletes home. He [Jude] lost a season, and I can’t give that back to him. That’s something that’s always going to bother me. There’s nothing tangible I can give them to make up for what should’ve been a playoff run last year.”
Losing the opportunity to play last year made this program really appreciate having high school athletics. Coach Brost is looking forward to getting the kids back on the field and in the classroom and mentioned how the athletes’ attitudes have changed when it comes to practice. “Since we started spring football and team camp, the kids have embraced it a little more and were happy to be there and have the opportunity to practice. There’s more of an appreciation for it.”
Xenith is proud to have Coach Brost, Jude, and St. Stephens Indian School as a member of the Xenith family and we are looking forward to seeing them secure a playoff appearance this season.