Dr. Dennis Lansang
Daniel Simoes, the current Blue Section Leader, transferred into St. Benedict’s as a seventh grader, being a part of one of the last classes to be considered “Lower Division.” Before that, Simoes attended a Catholic school in the Ironbound section of Newark. The Ironbound is also where Simoes joined a youth soccer club at the age of five, Den of Lions, the club that he stayed with up until his last year of playing competitive soccer in the eighth grade. His love for soccer is one of the reasons for his transfer to St. Benedict’s, where the soccer program is considered one of the nation’s best. It also didn’t hurt that both his father and older cousin graduated from SBP.
Upon joining the St. Benedict’s Prep community, Daniel was quick to make friends that he said are still like family to this day. “My friends and I would have so much fun together after school and everywhere we went, even if we had no soccer ball, we would split into teams and play,” Daniel said. “Sometimes, we would use a small rubber ball that we found and other times we would crumple up a piece of paper and use that.”
Some of his favorite memories with his friends, besides playing soccer, are going out to eat, the last-minute sleepovers where everyone had to call their parents and hope for a yes, and the car rides where they would fit six to eight people in a four-person car.
Daniel is from a very close family. He grew up having to share a room with his older sister. “Everyone would tell me that having a room to myself is better than sharing, but my sister and I shared a lot of great memories and laughs together,” he said.
As a child, he spent a lot of time with his father, a carpenter, at his job sites. This is where his love for the field began and why he has decided to study civil engineering in college. Daniel also talks about his father taking him to all of the smaller, lesser known bars and restaurants in Newark, where he would have great food and meet interesting people.
During his transition into high school, the responsibilities started to pile on. As a freshman, he had to endure the challenges of the Overnight and the Trail. As a sophomore, he became a freshman counselor and was responsible for the eight freshmen in his group, Father Valerian. As a junior, he became the assistant group leader for Father Valerian, having responsibilities for his whole group now, not just the freshmen.
“St. Benedict’s and its leadership opportunities have taught me many lessons,” Daniel said. “I learned that there is a time and place for everything. I also learned to be more vocal. I used to be a shy kid and now I am a more vocal leader.”
These lessons are what shaped Daniel and what he believes prepared him for his job as a section leader his senior year.
Daniel began playing golf at St. Benedict’s when he was in the Lower Division. He talked about the team not really being a team and instead, they would just hit golf balls around. As he got older, their play became more competitive and the team began to take shape. “I have to give a lot of credit to (Middle Division Teacher) Mr. Jared Boone who came in my sophomore year and really transformed what we had into a team,” he said. Daniel stuck with the team throughout high school and became the captain his senior year.
Daniel will be attending NJIT where he will study civil engineering.