Six Football Players Named to NFF Hampshire Honor Society
HANOVER, N.H. — The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced the members of the 2014 NFF Hampshire Honor Society yesterday, and Dartmouth had six of its student-athletes selected for inclusion — wide receiver Robbie Anthony, tight end Dean Bakes, nickelback Mike Banaciski, tight end Cole Marcoux, linebacker Michael Runger and cornerback Chase Womack.
The honor society is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college career. A total of 838 players from 267 schools qualified for membership in the society’s eighth year, setting a new record for the number of members in the history of the program, which began in 2007. The student-athletes also must have been a starter or a significant substitute in their last year of eligibility and meet all NCAA-mandated progress towards degree requirements and graduation.
Anthony (Orlando, Fla.) started the final five games of the season after dealing with an injury and finished the season fourth on the team with 16 receptions for 131 yards. In a win over Cornell, the studio art major with a 3.35 GPA caught a career-high six passes, and the following week he hauled in his first career touchdown and a career-long 42 yard pass in a 24-20 victory at Brown.
Both Bakes (New Canaan, Conn.) and Marcoux (New York, N.Y.) shared time at tight end, and even lined up together for certain offensive sets. Bakes, an economics major with a 3.36 GPA, caught nine passes on the season for 109 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown in the longest Ivy League game ever against Penn (four overtimes). He snared a career-best four passes against Bucknell, and amassed 41 receiving yards in consecutive games versus the Bison and Columbia.
Marcoux, meanwhile, parlayed his 3.91 GPA as a sociology major into spots on the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Athletics Directors Association (ADA) Academic All-Star Team, the Fall Academic All-Ivy Team and the Capital One Academic All-District I squad. A converted quarterback, Marcoux flourished at tight end in his senior campaign, catching 15 passes for 206 yards with one touchdown that came in a 20-13 homecoming victory over Yale.
Representing the defensive side were Banaciski (Hillsborough, N.J.), Runger (Lisle, Ill.) and Womack (Austin, Texas). A two-time Academic All-District I selection, Banaciski registered the second-most tackles (64) among the Big Green defenders last fall. He also recorded 4.5 tackles for a loss with one sack, broke up two passes, recovered two fumbles and forced another. An engineering major with a 3.53 GPA, the nickelback was named the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week after making 10 stops and recovering two key fumbles in a 20-13 homecoming victory over Yale.
A member of the Capital One Academic All-America Second Team, Runger is an economics major with a 3.73 GPA. Twice a first-team All-Ivy selection, FCS All-New England honoree and FCS ADA Academic All-Star, the linebacker was named the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week the final two weeks of the 2013 season as well while leading the team in tackles for a second straight season with 85, which ranked third in the league. Four times he had at least 13 tackles in a game, including three of the final four contests. Runger also recorded his first career interception with a pick at Penn while collecting 13 tackles against the Quakers. For his career, Runger compiled 212 tackles, five of which went for a loss, with a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, an interception and five passes broken up.
Finally, Womack took a fifth year to finish his football career after battling back from injuries, and the hard work paid off. An economics major with a 3.23 GPA, the Texan reclaimed his starting role at one of the corners and finished the year with 43 tackles and ranked second on the team with eight passes broken up. His biggest play of the year came in that 20-13 homecoming win against Yale in which he ended the Bulldogs’ final drive by forcing a fumble, allowing Dartmouth to run out the final 2:16 of the game.
The Hampshire Honor Society represents a powerful component in the organization's rich history as an innovator in promoting the scholar-athlete ideal. Launched in 1959 with a donation from Hall of Fame coach (and Dartmouth head coach from 1934-40) Earl “Red” Blaik, the NFF's National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, became the first initiative in history to grant postgraduate scholarships based on a player's combined academic success, football performance and community leadership. And, since its inception, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program has awarded $10.4 million to 787 top scholars and community leaders.
Dartmouth concludes its spring practice with the annual Green and White game on Saturday, May 3 on Memorial Field at 10 a.m.