Simoneau ends time with Ichabods, plans to play professionally

Mariauna Hernandez / Washburn Review

All great achievements require time. This saying truly reflects the amazing run  Dane Simoneau, senior quarterback has had here at Washburn University.

After sitting out his rookie season in 2007, 2008 would be the beginning of a record breaking career for the QB. Simoneau started the final six games of the 2008 season completing 62 of 130 passes for 788 yards and five touchdowns.

Entering 2009, Simoneau was a starter in all 11 games, throwing for a record 2,955-yards, completing 186 of 309 passes with 26 touchdowns. His outstanding performance set single season records for passing efficiency, passing yards per game, total offensive yards, total offensive yards per game and total offensive yards per play.

He ended the season earning the Ichabods offensive player of the year award and second team all-MIAA.

His junior year Simoneau became a more seasoned veteran. surpassing his previous passing yards record with 3,459-yards, making him the first Ichabod in history to pass for more than 3,000 yards as a junior in a single season and sixth in MIAA history.

For a student, the objective of senior year is not only to finish, but go out with a bang., For an athlete, the goal is no different.

This past year was one of greatest for Simoneau as he once again broke his own single season record throwing for 4,089-yards becoming the first Ichabod senior to throw for at least 4,000-yards setting the third best record in MIAA history.

Simoneau lead the Ichabods to a 10-3 record, scoring their first playoff win in Washbun history against Abilene Christian. On his career, Simoneau has started 42 games playing in 43 career games and is the Ichabods’ all time leader in passing with 11,291-yards, which is the 12th ranked season best total in NCAA Division II history.

Simoneau finished second on the MIAA’s career passing chart and total offense with his 102 touchdowns ranking 15th on the Division II career chart. Simoneau owns 35 Washburn career, season and single game records including: pass completions, pass attempts, completion percentage, passing touchdowns, total offense yards and total offensive yards per game. As one might assume Simoneau may be leaving campus physically, but his presence will forever be felt etched in the history books of Washburn University.

“Experience is the biggest thing,” said Simoneau. “I was lucky enough to play as a freshman and stay healthy until my senior year.”

Stepping on the field, there seems to be an unexplicable force that takes over assisting Simoneau in his pursuit of perfection. Call it skill, talent or maybe even luck, this QB remains humble and credits much of his accomplishments to those around him.

“I have always had a great offensive line blocking for me,” said Simoneau. “I’ve had good receivers to throw to and we’ve always had a good running game and good game plan. I credit all those guys for everything.”

Just last month, Simoneau traveled to Alabama where he was one of three finalists selected for the prestigious Harlon Hill award. This award is granted to the most valuable player in Division II football. The winner is decided after a voting process by the region’s sports information directors. Simoneau fell short on making history yet again, by being the first Ichabod to receive such an award by a mere three points losing to Mars Hills runningback, Jonas Randolph.

“It was a great experience  that I’ll never forget,” said Simoneau. “They had us doing a bunch of things. I met a lot of people, and everyone was very nice. The hospitality was great and I had a great time. I had about twenty family members that came and supported me. I thought that was awesome that they made the long drive. It was a great time. Even though I didn’t win, it was a great honor to be there.”

Over the last four years, Simoneau has seen four of his former teammates find themselves living out their childhood dreams in the NFL. Trey Lewis, defensive tackle was signed to the Atlanta Falcons in 2007, deCary Williams, defensive back, went the following year to the Tennessee Titans and currently holds a starting position with playoff contenders, the Baltimore Ravens. Most recently, wide receiver, Joe Hastings and linebacker, Michael Wilhoite have reunited in San Francisco acquiring positions on Jim Harbaugh’s 49er’s practice squad. With the 2012 NFL draft right around the corner, most believe that the idea of Simoneau extending his talents into the professional arena could become a reality.

“It takes years for us coming from Division II to play,” said senior linebacker, Jahmil Taylor. “If he gets a shot, he’ll make it happen.”

However, the chips may fall this current year. One thing is certain, resilience seethes excellence. Time in and time out, this QB has proven that you can’t keep a good man down.

“My goal is to be on a roster next year,” said Simoneau. “I’m going to train hard this spring and we’ll see what happens. I’m going to work hard and give it my all.”