HANOVER, N.H. — Following a season in which he ran for 1,310 yards with 10 touchdowns, and a career that produced a school-record 3,150 rushing yards, senior Nick Schwieger was the recipient of the Coach Bob Blackman Trophy, bestowed upon the team MVP, at the Dartmouth football awards banquet on Sunday. He and 15 other players earned awards as the Big Green celebrated the accomplishments of the team and the 35 seniors associated with the program.
Schwieger (Norton, Mass.) led the Ivy League in rushing average for the third straight year while currently ranking fourth nationally with 131.0 yards per game. His 1,310 yards on the ground are the second most ever at Dartmouth, and Schwieger posted eight 100-yard games during the season, just the fifth player in conference history to produce as many in one year. He also set school career records for rushing attempts (649) and all-purpose yards (4,115). On Nov. 5, he also reclaimed the Dartmouth single-game rushing record by galloping for 257 against Cornell.
Two players earned multiple awards in seniors Shawn Abuhoff (Hialeah, Fla.) and Ryan O'Neill (Orland Park, Ill.). Abuhoff received the Frank Hershey Award, given to the senior football player who possesses a genuine zest for life, has maintained a strong, positive attitude and has displayed a sincere desire to win, as well as the Special Teams Award. An All-American return specialist and All-Ivy first-team cornerback a year ago, Abuhoff didn’t get as many opportunities to post spectacular numbers as the opposition generally avoided him, particularly on kickoffs and punts. But he still managed to lead the league in punt return average (10.08 ypr) and rank 15th nationally, including the longest punt return in Dartmouth history at 90 yards for a touchdown at Sacred Heart.
O’Neill, a preseason All-American on the offensive line, took home the John M. Manley ’40 Award for the second straight year as the player who demonstrated the most improvement through their efforts in the weight room, plus shared the Gordon P. Bennett Award — given to the team’s outstanding lineman who exemplified the high degree of performance, sportsmanship, and character exhibited by the namesake — with senior Eddie Smith (Louisville, Ky.). Not only was Schwieger able to post his numbers running behind O’Neill and company up front, but the Big Green quarterbacks were well protected, ranking among the top 10 nationally in fewest times sacked.
A defensive lineman, Smith led the Big Green with 5.0 sacks to rank seventh in the Ivy League. He also had eight tackles for a loss and 35 stops to his credit.
Sophomore Bronson Green (Los Angeles, Calif.) was selected to receive the Kenneth T. Young Award, which is given to the underclassman who made the most significant contribution to the team. From his middle linebacking position, Green was seventh in the Ivy League with 82 tackles, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble. He finished the season with a career-high 13 stops in a 24-17 win over Princeton.
Earning the Jake Crouthamel Award as the underclassman who contributed the most to the success of the team on offense was sophomore Dominick Pierre (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.). Schwieger’s understudy provided Dartmouth with a valuable runner with no drop-off in ability as he picked up 382 yards on 78 carries (4.9 avg.) with four touchdowns.
The Doten Award, given to the sophomore who made a significant contribution to the success of the football team, was given to Mike Banaciski (Hillsborough, N.J.). The nickelback played in all 10 games, ranking sixth on the team with 44 tackles while breaking up four passes and recovering a fumble.
The Earl Hamilton Freshman Award, given to the top rookie contributor, was bestowed upon Kirby Schoenthaler (Bartlesville, Okla.). The wide receiver started each of the final nine games, leading the team with 25 receptions while catching a pass in eight of the 10 games on the year.
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 defensive back Chad Hollis (Princeton, N.J.), who invariably was the player who kept punts from reaching the end zone to help pin opponents inside the 10. He also served on all kick coverages and return squads, making numerous plays either with blocks or tackles.
Cornerback J.B. Andreassi (Water Mill, N.Y.) was the recipient of the Lester R. Godwin Award as the senior football squad member who, through extraordinary perseverance, has risen above personal disadvantage to contribute measurably to the team. After missing most of his junior season with an injury, he returned to the field this fall and earned back his starting slot. Andreassi made 36 tackles, while his 10 passes defended (which included two interceptions) led the Ivy League. With him and Abuhoff at the two corners, Dartmouth finished the year having allowed the fewest passing yards in the league.
Seniors John Gallagher (Salem, Ore.) and Luke Hussey (Seattle, Wash.) were awarded the Alan Hewitt ‘34 and Robert Hewitt ‘40 Award. This honor goes to the player who best epitomizes athletic performance with academic achievement. Both players were selected to the Capital One Academic All-District I first team while Hussey was chosen as a William Campbell Award semifinalist. Gallagher is an economics major with a 3.58 GPA, catching 23 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns from his tight end position. Hussey, an engineering major with a 3.94 GPA, recorded 71 tackles at linebacker, 12th in the conference.
The Earl Hamilton Varsity Award was given to senior center Austen Fletcher (Old Brookville, N.Y.) as the senior football player who has displayed the sincere friendliness and sense of humor plus appreciation of the outdoors that were the late Mr. Hamilton’s characteristics. Fletcher set a Dartmouth record for an offensive lineman by starting 38 of the 40 games in his career, including the final 37 in a row. He anchored the line that allowed the offense to rank second in the league in rushing yards and first in fewest sacks allowed.
Finally, senior quarterback Dan Rooney (Pittsburgh, Pa.) 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.” Rooney served as a back-up behind center for nearly his entire career, but did make one start at Yale this fall. He always was ready to support the team in any way he could, whether from the sideline or in practice, working to make himself and everyone else a better football player.