By Kevin Eickman
There will be four new members entering the 12th Man Gridiron Club Hall Of Fame on Friday, September 11, during halftime at the first Milford High School home football game. MilfordLIVE.com will be taking the opportunity to get to know the inductees over the summer as this week we feature 2006 Milford graduate Jack Simon.
Jack Simon was a special talent when he attended Milford High School. Dedicated to both his team and his craft. Although he was undersized, the tenacity that Simon brought to the field was rarely matched. “He was just a tough hard nosed kid, who never quit,” former coach Mike Tkach said. “He would lock on to guys and just turn them, he created some real good holes for our runners to exploit.”
While playing center on the offensive line, Simon was able to give the Buccaneers a unique ability that presented a big problem to the opposition. “Because of his size, he only weighed about 170 pounds, we were able to pull him out and have him block on the outside,” Tkach said. “That gave our running game a new dimension and we were really able to open up the outside running game as a result of it.”
Simon was third team all-state as a junior in 2004 and second team all-state in 2005. Both of those years saw him garner first team all-conference honors. During his three years on the varsity squad, Simon never missed a game. As a freshman he was on a squad that finished 7-0. In addition to football, Simon was a four year varsity letter in lacrosse, leading the team in scoring as a senior.
On the Milford coaching staff at the time was his father Jack. It presented a rather interesting situation that would repeat itself a few years later as Patrick Tkcah played for his father Mike. “It was real nice the way it worked out, when Jack was playing I was like a buffer for the two. When Patrick was here, it was a reversal of roles that worked out well for everyone,” Tkach stated.
Catching up with Simon, he was very happy with his selection to the Hall of Fame. “There wasn’t anything like that when we were playing, so to be selected was quite a surprise,” Simon stated. “It really is an honor to be joining such a tremendous group of people, just thinking about it is pretty exciting.”
When talking about his favorite memory while playing football, Simon chose to focus on his lone offensive accomplishment. “I caught one pass my entire high school career, it was for a six yard loss,” said Simon. “The other team had a choice between my catch and a penalty. We lost more yards on the pass, so the play stood and I was finally in the stat book.”
When speaking about his inspiration on the field, he gave Tkach and his father a great deal of credit. “Those guys really cared about everyone, just not me,” Simon said. “It was never just about football, it was about learning how to be a better person.”
Simon lives in Milford with his wife Sarah, he works in the Milford School District.