By RICK PETERSON
As a high school athlete, Dane Terry was almost always in the middle of the action for Shawnee Heights, leading the T-Bird football team in tackles as both a junior and a senior and earning Heights' Defensive Most Valuable Player award as a senior while also qualifying for the Class 5A state tournament in wrestling.
Conversely, the 5-foot-9, 200-pound fifth-year junior linebacker has done a lot more watching than playing, at least on game days, during his Washburn University career, playing in a single game over his previous four years in the program.
And while other players might have abandoned their college football dreams a long time ago, Terry actually has embraced his situation.
"You go from the guy in high school, 'Well, Dane did this, Dane had a great game, he had a couple of sacks,' and then you come here and you're a nobody again, really,'' Terry said. "You start at base zero and that's something I actually appreciate because it taught me how to be humble and how to take everything in stride.
"It is what it is, and that's what I've learned. If I play in one game or if I don't, at the end of the day I'm still playing college football. I've still met all these awesome dudes that I'm going to have around for life and I've really enjoyed it.''
A three-time Ichabod defensive work team player of the week and a four-time member of the MIAA Academic Honor Roll, most of Terry's contributions for the Ichabods have come in practice, but he did get a chance to make his Washburn debut last fall.
"I think it was four plays maybe,'' Terry said.
A bigger role could be in the offing this fall, with Terry expected to be a contender for a spot on the Ichabods' special teams.
"That would be awesome, and that's really what I've hoped for this whole time I've been here is to get to a place where I have a role,'' Terry said. "For me right now that role is as a practice player, to get the offense ready, keep the guys in check, lead the younger guys, and if it gets bigger than that this year I'm all for it because it's my game, I love this game.
"Especially through COVID and everything that was uncertain, you've got to love it (to stick with it). It's not high school any more, it's college. It's a fulltime job basically and even if you're not playing you've just got to love what you're doing and I do. I love every second of it.''