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Stratton was an integral member of DSU Football Boothill Bowl team
May 23, 2012
MADISON, S.D. - December 4, 1971, December 18, 1971 and June 2, 2012. Those are three of the most important dates for Wentworth's Dan Stratton.
On December 4, 1971, Stratton and his fellow Dakota State football Trojans made South Dakota college football history by becoming the first college team in the state to win a post-season bowl game. That day in Dodge City, Kansas, Stratton and the Trojans came from behind to beat the Northwestern Oklahoma Raiders 23-20 in the Boot Hill Bowl. Two weeks later, December 18, Stratton married the former Faith Riggin of Milbank, South Dakota.
On June 2, 2012, Stratton will enter the Dakota State Athletic Hall of Fame along with Maureen (Green) Casey (posthumously), Dawn (Gaffney) Dittman and the 1999-2000 Lady T's basketball team.
In 2001, the Boot Hill Bowl team (coached by Lee Moran) was the first team to be inducted into the DSU Athletic Hall of Fame.
For his outstanding play, Stratton was named an NAIA All-American honorable mention player his senior year, as well as SDIC All-Conference and NAIA District 12 in both his junior and senior seasons.
"Dan had great natural abilities," said Moran. "He had a pair of great hands, which made him a very good possession receiver. He was able to get into crossing patterns, 15-yard passing plays and other play situations. Really, he was able to catch the ball anywhere on the field." According to Darwin Robinson, "Dan was quick on his feet and he was a good blocker. All in all, he was an upbeat position player. He never complained and went out and did his job well."
Stratton came to Dakota State after a solid four-year football and basketball career at Chester High School where he earned All-State honors in both sports as a senior in 1968. That year he was tabbed by KJAM-Radio as the Lake County High School Athlete of the Year.
"I learned a lot from my high school coaches Phil Dobbs and Jerry Buchanan, added Stratton. At Dakota State, my gridiron education came from coaches George Blankley, Moran, Al Weisbecker and Jon Walczyk."
After graduation from Dakota State, the NFL's Cleveland Browns invited Stratton to camp. Not making the Browns' final cut, Stratton returned to Wentworth where he helped his parents Arvin and Doris Stratton (now deceased) in their farming operations. Today, when not farming, he is a part-time employee at Chester Farm Service.
He and his wife Faith have three children – Kyle, Kari and Kasey.
For further information and to reserve seating for the annual DSU Athletic Hall of Fame banquet, please RSVP by contacting Carla Sudenga at 605-256-5229 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are $14 per person and may be purchased at the door. The social begins at 5:30 p.m. with dinner served at 6:15 p.m. The program will begin at approximately 7 p.m. The event is open to the public.
Dan Holsworth, Dakota State University Athletics Assistant
Edited by Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director