HANOVER, N.H. — The Ivy League announced its all-conference football teams as selected by the league’s coaches this afternoon, and Dartmouth had two juniors earn a spot on the first team in offensive lineman Matt Kaskey and linebacker Jack Traynor. Six more Big Green players were named to the second team, while eight more earned honorable mention giving Dartmouth a total of 16 players listed. Only the conference champion, Yale, had more player selections with 20.
Kaskey, an honorable mention pick as a sophomore last year, started all 10 games as the cornerstone of a line that had the Big Green ranked in the top half of the league in scoring, rushing, passing and total yards, joining the Bulldogs as the only teams that could make that claim. In league play, Dartmouth ranked third in each of those categories. Kaskey was instrumental in keeping the Big Green quarterbacks safe as opponents registered just 10 sacks all year, a rate (one per game) that ranked 16th nationally and second among Ancient Eight teams. The 6-7, 325-pound native of Winnetka, Illinois, also paved the way for two Dartmouth backs to rank among the top eight in yardage in league games only.
The Big Green’s other first-team selection, Traynor, is also an Illinois native hailing from Lake Forest. A unanimous choice at linebacker, the 6-0, 230-pound junior started every game and ranked second in the league with 98 tackles while averaging exactly 10 per game in conference action. His five tackles for a loss tied for the team lead, and he also contributed a sack, an interception, four pass breakups and a forced fumble. Traynor had at least five tackles in every game, five times reaching double figures with a career-high 17 at Harvard. His efforts helped Dartmouth rank third in fewest points and total yards allowed, and second against the run (11th nationally).
The six Big Green players named to the second team were three seniors — cornerback Danny McManus, linebacker Eric Meile and defensive end Nick Tomkins — along with junior center Patrick Kilcommons, sophomore wide receiver Hunter Hagdorn and sophomore cornerback Isiah Swann.
McManus ranked fourth in the Ivy League with nine passes defended including an interception, fifth with two fumble recoveries and 17th with 55 tackles, collecting a season-high 12 against Columbia. The fifth-year senior from Mendota Heights, Minnesota, also served as Dartmouth’s punt returner, ranking 19th nationally and second in the conference with an average of 8.8 yards per return.
Hailing from Ramsey, New Jersey, the 6-1, 230-pound Meile teamed up with Traynor as the most active linebacking duo in the league as he tackled 90 ball carriers, fifth in the Ivy League. Four times he had at least 10 stops in a game with a season-high 16 against Columbia, and he also successfully defended eight passes, including an interception, ranking ninth among the Ivy League’s defenders.
Tomkins anchored a stout Dartmouth defensive line, recording 34 tackles, four going for a loss, with 1.5 sacks and a pair of passes batted down at the line. Twice the 6-3, 285-pound native of Matawan, New Jersey, made a career-high eight tackles, coming in a 28-27 win over Yale and the 10-0 shutout of Cornell. The two-year starter finished his career with 81 tackles and six passes broken up to go with a forced fumble.
Kilcommons, a 6-2, 285-pound native of Berwyn, Illinois, was the Big Green’s starting center, missing only the 33-10 victory over Brown at Fenway Park in the season’s penultimate game. His work snapping the ball proved essential in just about every other game with six contests decided by five points or fewer and another that was won in the final second of the game.
Last year’s Ivy League Rookie of the Year, Hagdorn followed up his sensational debut with a solid sophomore season ranking in the top six in the league in both receptions per game (5.5, sixth) and receiving yards per game (67.6, fifth). Despite missing two games and most of a third, the 6-0, 185-pound product of Manvel, Texas, led Dartmouth with his 44 catches, 541 yards and six touchdown grabs, hauling in at least one score in each of the final four contests.
Swann, out of Queen Creek, Arizona, was a regular in the defensive backfield once again as a sophomore, playing in every game while starting the final six, leading the Big Green with a pair of interceptions. The 6-0, 185-pound cornerback also posted 27 tackles, broke up six other passes and returned one of those picks 47 yards against Yale to begin the 21-point comeback against the Bulldogs.
All eight Dartmouth players garnering honorable mention were seniors, four on the offensive side of the ball: OL Jack Anderson (Palo Alto, California), who played and started nine of the 10 games at right guard; QB Jack Heneghan (Atherton, California), who became the third Dartmouth quarterback to throw for 2,000 yards in a season twice (2,136) while completing 63.1 percent of his passes (185-of-293) with 17 touchdowns and just six interceptions; TE Stephen Johnston (Potomac, Maryland), a terrific blocker who also caught eight passes for 118 yards and a score; and RB Ryder Stone (Calgary, Alberta), who capped a career of over 1,500 rushing yards with a team-best 675 this season (4.7-yard average per carry) and four touchdowns.
Three on the defensive side also earned honorable mention: senior FS Colin Boit (Sammamish, Washington), who was fifth on the squad with 55 tackles to go with an interception and fumble recovery; senior DT Rocco Di Leo (Elmhurst, Illinois) with 29 tackles and two going for a loss; and DT Charlie Pontarelli (Glenview, Illinois) with his 24 tackles, 2.5 going for a loss and half a sack.
Finally, place kicker David Smith (Montreal, Quebec) was included among the honorable mentions after leading the Green with 60 points while converting 10-of-13 field goals and 30-of-31 PATs.
Both the Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year awards were announced as well with Yale running back Zane Dudek a unanimous selection for the rookie honor, and Columbia head coach Al Bagnoli being recognized for guiding a Columbia team known for second-division finishes to a tie for second with Dartmouth at 8-2 overall and 5-2 in the league.
The offensive and defensive finalists for the Bushnell Cup, the Ivy League’s Player of the Year awards, will be announced on Tuesday, Nov. 28, with the winners being unveiled at the Mercury Ballroom of the New York Hilton Midtown in conjunction with the National Football Foundation at 12:30 p.m. (EST) on Monday, Dec. 4.