Dvon Ellies ‘Elated’ To Honor Father By Carrying American Flag At Military Appreciation Game

For some, Penn State football’s Military Appreciation Game is an afterthought — another game theme that comes and goes every season. But for others, it means more. And for defensive tackle Dvon Ellies, it’s about honoring his father.

Ellies’ father, Sean Thomas, served for 24 years in the military and retired as a sergeant first class. At this week’s Military Appreciation Game against Maryland, Ellies will come out of the tunnel carrying the American flag, which he will ultimately hand to his father.

“I found out earlier this week that I got to do it, and I was elated, of course,” Ellies said Wednesday.

While Ellies was in high school, his father had to move to Death Valley, California, for a few years. He insisted that he had to make the big move by himself so that Ellies and his family didn’t have their lives turned upside-down.

“I will always forever appreciate my father for that because I don’t know if I would be here if we had to make that change,” Ellies said. “He sacrificed his time, and everything else pretty much, so that we can succeed in what we were doing.”

Ellies is coming off of a great game against Indiana this past weekend in which he recorded a sack in the second quarter and helped the defense put consistent pressure on the quarterback. Despite that, he was most excited to talk about bringing the flag out in honor of his father at Wednesday’s media availability

“I think for him, this is well-deserved,” Ellies said. “It’s a testament to all the work he’s done for us.”

Ellies also talked about how he has carries his father’s lessons with him every day, taking “baby steps” to become his own person. He also attributed a lot of his development as a man to James Franklin and the people he surrounds himself with at Penn State.

“Perspective is a big thing when you’re taking lessons from [my father], his sacrifice, and what it leads to,” Ellies said.

In 2020, Penn State had its Military Appreciation Game against Maryland as well. Daniel George came out of the tunnel with the flag for an abridged celebration that day. This will be the Terrapins’ first return to Beaver Stadium since then, which saw them take home a 35-19 victory.

Penn State kicks off its matchup against Maryland at 3:30 p.m. this Saturday, November 12. When you see Ellies run out of the tunnel with the stars and stripes, remember that some gameday themes deserve a bit more than an afterthought.

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About the Author

Mikey DeAngelis

Mikey DeAngelis is a junior majoring in film production who is also serving as one of Onward State's visual editors. During his free time, he enjoys making content for his YouTube channel. Mikey loves Philly sports, traveling and hiking in National Parks, and watching movies. To reach Mikey, feel free to reach out on Twitter (@mikey_deangelis) or by email ([email protected]).

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