Steamboat Springs If the Ivy League had a Steamboat Springs, Dartmouth would be it.
That's why former Steamboat Springs offensive and defensive lineman Lane Shipley, alongside his family and coaches, concluded a two-year recruiting process Wednesday by inking his name on a letter of intent to play football for the Big Green.
"It's the Steamboat of the Ivy League," Shipley said. "You've got your Princetons and your Yales which are like Beaver Creek and Vail. I went to Dartmouth and there are people wearing Carhartts and jeans. It was just real down to earth."
Initially, Dartmouth wasn't on Shipley's list.
Early in the process, he said he had looked at Colorado State University, Southern Methodist University and several Ivy League schools.
"We were sending out letters and tapes and waiting to see who would reply," Shipley said. "What's odd about Dartmouth is we never sent them a letter. They were the Ivy League school that we never contacted."
But thanks to a Dartmouth alumnus who decided to catch a Steamboat football game on a Friday night, the Dartmouth coaching staff soon knew about Shipley.
The Big Green coaching staff contacted Sailors coach Aaron Finch, who in turn sent film of Shipley to the school, located in Hanover, N.H.
"Lane was a great fit for Dartmouth because of not only what a great student he is but also what a great athlete he is," Finch said.
Shipley then took a recruiting trip to Dartmouth and found out it was more like Steamboat than he realized. He said he related to the students and their needs for a social setting along with top-notch academics.
Then he met Big Green head coach Buddy Teevens.
Teevens, who has held head coaching positions at Stanford and Tulane and was an offensive coordinator at Florida, fit the description Shipley wanted in a coach.
"He has surrounded himself with people that want to build a football team but also prepare you for life afterwards," said Shipley, who was recruited as a defensive end. "They want to build your character and help you become a better person as well as being a great football player. It's not just athletics."
For Shipley, the signing caps off an impressive high school football resume.
Shipley was named to the all-state football team his junior and senior years and academic all-state his senior year. He was the Western Slope League Lineman of the Year his senior year and was invited to the high school football all-state game at the end of the school year at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.
"I think we, as a football program, try to help the parents raise their kids up to be men," Finch said. "With a kid like Lane it was pretty easy because (parents) John and Barb gave him a pretty good start. It's exciting. I mean anytime you can have a kid continue to play and have the opportunity to go to an institution like Dartmouth, that's good."
With a process that started just after his junior year, and spring football at Dartmouth slated to start at the end of August, Shipley said he's glad the recruiting rollercoaster is over.
"The best part was when I came back and knew that Dartmouth was the right place," he said. "Just knowing that whole process was over. It was a fun time, but it's two years long. It's just great to be done with it."