Lebanon’s Sipos plays in all-star Tiki Bowl football game, then signs with UO

January has been a big month for Lebanon football player Dane Sipos.
On Jan. 6 he played in the Tiki Bowl, held at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla.
Then, on Jan. 12, he signed to play as a preferred walk-on at the University of Oregon.
“This is my opportunity to play at the college of my dreams, the team I’ve always rooted for,” Sipos said prior to signing.
That came after he played nearly all the defensive minutes for the Ha’haheo team in the all-star game, which is normally held in Hawaii but was played in Camping World Stadium in Orlando because of COVID. Sipos said he was contacted by Joel Hill, director of recruiting for the game, which bills itself as “ the premier All-Star football game in America.”
Sipos’ game, one of three played that day, was live-streamed on Facebook, where it is viewable at www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=3027948477432656. Sipos is wearing No. 2 for the white team, Laulima, which came away with a 24-0 win.
“It was definitely pretty fun,” he said, noting that his whole family went, making “a little vacation” out of it.
There were only two practices before the game, he said, but he got to play most of the game, though not much at safety, the position he plays for the Warriors.
“They wanted to play their linebackers back at safety. I was the best at coverage, so they had me play DB when we were in press coverage.
“It was good experience going into college, since I haven’t played corner,” said Sipos, who was a First-Team All-League defensive back and honorable mention as a wide receiver for the Warriors.
No catches were made on him in the Tiki game and he said he got “one good hit.”
“I’m happy for that,” he said. “I haven’t played this season yet. I would have been mad if I didn’t get a tackle.”

A social media post shows Sipos with teammates at the Tiki Bowl all-star game at Florida’s Citrus Bowl. Sipos is to the right at center.

He was one of four players from Oregon invited to the Tiki Bowl, including Jeremiah Smith of Madras, and others from Hood River and Lake Oswego. Nearly all the rest were from the Midwest and the South, he said, adding that he enjoyed playing with others who were focused moving up to the next level.
“The game was pretty good. I felt pretty confident.”
“Playing college football has always been a dream of mine, since the day my dad took me to see my first college game,” Sipos said in a statement on Twitter after signing with the Ducks after his return from Florida. “From that day forth I had so much passion for the game and I understand it’s a blessing to play. The recruitment process has been tough, especially through COVID and possibly not being able to play my senior season.
“I’d like to first thank God for opening my eyes and really telling me what to do by closing doors.”
Along with expressing gratitude to friends and coaches who have helped him in the process, Sipos also thanked his parents “for believing in me” and his older brother Cole “for showing me the ins and outs of football and for being the best role model anyone could ever ask for.”
He said he has talked to a variety of coaches at the Division 1 and 2 levels, considering both Western Oregon and Central Washington, but scholarship offers are in short supply because so many seniors are returning after this year’s season was hijacked by COVID.
He’ll also be joining teammate Keith Brown with the Ducks, after Brown, also a senior, signed with Oregon last year as a junior, one of the top linebacker prospects in the nation.
He said he’s ready to fight for a spot on the game roster.
“This is my opportunity to play at the college of my dreams, the team I’ve always rooted for. Honestly, think I’m good enough work ethic to be able to play.”