Dan Neppel attended twelve years of grade school and high school at Sacred Heart. He participated in every sports endeavor that the school had to offer and even played baseball during the summer. To many, Dan was the first big back to play football at Sacred Heart. He had the perfect build for a fullback to go along with his speed and power. And if you ever watched him go after a rebound, you could add tenacity and body control to his list of attributes.
In 1957, the Sacred Heart football team went undefeated. With a mean-and-lean line and a backfield full of speed, power, and cunning, they won all seven football games while setting numerous city, conference, and state records. Only a sophomore at the time, Dan was the starting fullback. When quarterback Denny Corbid wasn’t handing the ball off to Bushy or King, or throwing it downfield, he was putting the ball into Dan’s gut and watching him hit the hole and knock linebackers on their backsides to gain the necessary yardage for a first down.
Dan played four years of football at the University of North Dakota, distinguishing himself on the field and serving as a team captain during his senior season. His significant contribution to athletic excellence at Sacred Heart was his ability to run up the gut, and if necessary, over or through the opponent for big yards. He was a shining example of how to win and lose with grace and humility.