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Perseverance starting to pay off for former T-Bird Dane Terry at Washburn

Rick Peterson

 By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

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.

22Terry DaneDane Terry

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.'' 

 

Collin Wilson thankful to be back home with Washburn football

Rick Peterson

 By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

There's been some twists and turns along the way, but senior wide receiver Collin Wilson is back at Washburn University and fired up to finish what he started in 2017.

22Wilson CollinCollin Wilson

"I'm super excited to be back with my brothers, who I started it off with,'' the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Wilson said during Sunday's Washburn Media Day. "Now we're just a little bit older, a little more mature and I think we should have a good year.''

The Washbun Rural product has not played since the 2019 season and said having two full seasons off has strengthened his resolve to return to action.

"I'm well-rested and ready to go,'' Wilson said. "I've been working hard, really since COVID hit, so I feel stronger, faster, more athletic.''

Wilson earned All-MIAA honorable mention in '19 after catching 37 passes for 543 yards, averaging a team-best 14.7 yards per catch and tying for the team lead with seven touchdown receptions.

But Wilson and the rest of the Ichabods had the entire '20 season wiped out by COVID-19 and he made the decision to test the waters in the transfer portal prior to last season.

"There were a lot of things,'' Wilson said about making that decision. "I've been in Topeka my whole life and I kind of wanted to explore and wanted to see if I could move up to the Division I level. The transfer portal was open so it changed a lot of things and I felt like it was the best decision for my career at the time.''

When no Division I schools came calling, Wilson planned to play in '21 at Fort Hays State, but the after-effects of a bout with COVID prevented that from happening.

"I had COVID and lost like 20-something pounds and just couldn't end up playing last year,'' Wilson said. "I had gotten COVID a week before camp had started and it was bad. It was to the point where I'd run one route and be light-headed to where I didn't even want a ball thrown to me because I couldn't see. And I was like, 'That's not like me, I want the ball every play.'

"I knew I couldn't play last year, to the level I wanted to at least and needed to play to get to where I want to go.''

With his career at a crossroads, Wilson reached out to Washburn coach Craig Schurig, who gave him the go-ahead to return to the Ichabods.

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Seaman product Maddie Steiner continues family's Washburn tradition

Rick Peterson

 By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

After two seasons at Johnson County Community College, former Seaman volleyball standout Addie Steiner did consider multiple schools to continue her college career.

SteinerMaddie Steiner

But given her family tree, it seemed almost inevitable that Steiner would end up at Washburn University.

"I've had my dad (Jeff) come play baseball here, my mom (Audra) came to finish her schooling and her master's degree here and then my brother (Nick) played baseball for four years, and here I am, transferring in,'' said the 5-foot-5 defensive specialist/libero.

"Coming out of Johnson County I had visits at Nebraska-Kearney, Ottawa and here, and here was by far my best choice. I love it here.''

A first-team NJCAA All-American and former national champion at Johnson County, Steiner made the switch to Washburn for the spring semester, using that time to start getting ready for the upcoming season.

"I think it really helped because I got to know the girls very well and and I really just bonded with them and got together as a team with them,'' said Steiner, who  finished the 2021 season for JCCC with 663 digs, 43 service aces and 104 assists.

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