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Football Hands Out Team Awards

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By Bruce Wood
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HANOVER, N.H. — The Dartmouth football team gathered yesterday for its annual team banquet and handed out the team awards with free safety Garrett Waggoner receiving the Coach Bob Blackman Trophy as the team MVP. He and 15 other players earned awards as the Big Green celebrated the accomplishments of the team that finished the season 6-4 overall and tied for third in the Ivy League at 4-3, as well as the 26 seniors associated with the program.

Waggoner (Sarasota, Fla.), a first-team All-Ivy pick, served as one of the tri-captains this past fall and ranked third on the squad with 56 tackles, with a season-high 10 stops in the 21-16 victory at Columbia. The 6-1, 205-pound safety tied for team-high honors with two interceptions and five passes defended, plus forced a fumble in the 13-10 win at Holy Cross and another that set up the go-ahead score in the third quarter of the 35-21 season-ending triumph at Princeton. A member of the Class of 2013, Waggoner is expected to return to the gridiron this fall to finish his eligibility.

One player, wide receiver Ryan McManus (Mendota Heights, Minn.), earned two awards at the ceremony, taking home the Special Teams Award and the Doten Award as the member of the sophomore class who made a significant contribution to the success of the team. The 5-11, 190-pound receiver earned All-Ivy honorable mention for catching 42 passes for 664 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while his 15.8-yard average per catch led the team. McManus also served as the Big Green’s return man on punts, averaging 7.6 yards on his 21 returns, and even made three tackles on the punt coverage team.

Running back Dominick Pierre (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) was chosen as the recipient of the Jake Crouthamel Award for the second straight year as the offensive player in the junior or sophomore class who made the most significant contribution to the success of the team. The 5-11, 215-pound junior was slowed by injuries but still managed to run for 830 yards, averaging 92.2 per game and 5.0 yards per carry. A second-team All-Ivy selection, Pierre had nine rushing touchdowns to rank second in the Ivy League, and three times he ran for at least 100 yards with a season-high 170 in the season opener against Butler.

The Kenneth T. Young Award, bestowed upon the top defensive player in the junior or sophomore class, went to junior Michael Runger (Lisle, Ill.). The 6-2, 225-pounder was a first-team All-Ivy linebacker who led the league with 98 tackles, the first Big Green player to do so in five years. Six times he had at least 10 stops in a game, including 17 in the season finale at Princeton, the most by an Ivy player all year. He also broke up three passes and recovered a fumble during the season.

Earning the Gordon P. Bennett Award as the outstanding lineman was senior Mick Davis (Renton, Wash.). A 6-3, 255-pound defensive tackle, Davis topped the Big Green with four sacks and five TFL, plus led all linemen with 28 tackles. He also broke up one pass and forced a fumble.

The Earl Hamilton Varsity Award went to defensive tackle Elliot Kastner (Kamuela, Hawaii) as the senior who displayed a sincere friendliness and sense of humor plus appreciation of the outdoors that characterized Hamilton, the freshman football coach from 1955-65 and varsity backfield coach from 1966 until his passing in 1968. Cornerback Vernon Harris (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) received the Earl Hamilton Freshman Award as the freshman who made the biggest contribution to the team — fifth on the team with 42 tackles and five passes broken up — and had the characteristics of Hamilton as well.

Running back Greg Patton (College Park, Ga.) was the recipient of the Lester R. Godwin Award as the senior who, through extraordinary perseverance, rose above personal disadvantage to contribute measurably to the team. Sidelined by several injuries throughout his career, Patton burst on the scene as a rookie Wildcat quarterback and set the Big Green single-game rushing record with 243 yards against Cornell. After sitting out his entire sophomore campaign, he played in seven games as a running back in 2011, and six more in his final campaign, rushing for 180 yards while averaging 6.4 yards per carry with a 51-yard touchdown run against the Big Red.

The 12th Man Award, presented to the member of the varsity football team who demonstrated hard work and dedication regardless of playing time, was given to senior Justin Foley (Harrison, Ohio), who led the Big Green tight ends with 14 catches, 147 yards and three touchdowns.

Senior Garrett Wymore (Palos Verdes Peninsula, Calif.) was awarded the Alan Hewitt ‘34 and Robert Hewitt ‘40 Award as the player who best epitomizes athletic performance with academic achievement. Wymore was selected to the Capital One Academic All-District I first team and the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Stars thanks to his 3.90 GPA as well as his 38 tackles, including four for a loss that totaled 47 yards.

The John M. Manley ’40 Award, given to the player who demonstrates the most improvement through his efforts in the weight room went to senior left guard Patrick Lahey (North Andover, Mass.), while the Charles “Stubby” Pearson ’42 Award was earned by junior nickelback Mike Banaciski (Hillsborough, N.J.) as the underclassman whose character, leadership on campus, high academic standing and performance on the playing field most resembles that of Pearson. Pearson was the captain of the 1941 team and died while serving in the U.S. Navy in World War II.

Senior center Rob Bathe (Plymouth, Minn.) received the Frank Hershey Award as the player who, judged by his teammates, possesses a genuine zest for life, a strong, upbeat attitude and a sincere desire to win because of his dedication and love for the game, his team and Dartmouth College.

The scout team players of the year were junior wide receiver Clay Robbins (Stanford, Calif.) for offense and freshman defensive tackle Cody Fulleton (Seattle, Wash.) on defense.

Finally, senior wide receiver Shawn Bode (Kaneohe, Hawaii) was honored with the Manners Makyth Man Award. This distinction goes each year to the player who best conducted himself to the advantage of Dartmouth and displayed good manners in the sense of William Wykeham’s phrase, “Manners Makyth Man.”