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Spotlight on Tim McManus

Dartmouth
 10-24-2011
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By Doug Austin
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The nimble wide receiver hardly broke stride as he stretched out his right arm, cupped the forward point of the football in the palm of his hand and pulled it into his body for a catch during a recent practice.
    It's a play his teammates have seen Timmy McManus (St. Paul, Minn.) make time and time again during his Dartmouth football career.
    Except this time it wasn't McManus making the remarkable one-handed grab during practice. OK, that's not exactly true. It was a McManus, but not Timmy McManus. It was his younger brother Ryan, a freshman receiver with the Big Green.
    "A lot of the catches he's made I've seen him make in the backyard playing with my buddies," the proud older brother said. "It is a lot of fun to watch him show what he can do in front of the new group of people, and in a new setting at the Division I level. To see that and to be on the same team with him has been a great joy."
    Ironically, it was bad luck that allowed him the joy of playing alongside his brother.
    An honorable-mention All-Ivy League choice as a sophomore, McManus broke his leg on the night before practice was to begin for his junior year, sidelining him for the season. He returned to the field a year ago, earning a spot on the All-Ivy first team before successfully petitioning for a medical redshirt season this fall.
    McManus' teammates welcomed him back this year by voting him the first three-time captain at Dartmouth since the 19th century.
    "I guess I fooled my teammates three years in a row," he said with a laugh. "I don't know how that happened. It's a big honor and it's not something that I've taken lightly, but it's been somewhat easy in that we have a whole team of leaders. A lot of these guys have been captains of their high school teams and, given that, I've just tried to lead by example as best I could and fulfill my duty to the best of my ability."
    He's certainly done that to listen to Buddy Teevens.
    "Timmy has tremendous interpersonal skills," Dartmouth's head football coach said. "He's had great success as an athlete and gets along so well with everybody. He's very empathetic, very aware and not caught up in who he is.
    "He comes out and works hard every day. He sets a great example. I think the three captains, Timmy, Shawn (Abuhoff) and Nick (Schwieger) have all done a great job."
    Barring injury, when McManus' final season wraps up in November he figures to be third on the all-time Dartmouth chart for career receptions (behind only Jay Barnard '04 and Casey Cramer '04) and should be in the top five all-time in career receiving yardage.
    That despite starting his career as a quarterback, where he spent much of last spring polishing Dartmouth's version of the Wildcat offense: the Mac-cat.
    McManus switched back to wide receiver this fall but not until after taking care of one important order of business: "walking" with his class at graduation in June. Although he didn't receive a diploma - if he had he wouldn't be eligible - he's glad he had a chance to celebrate with family and friends.
    "Going through the ceremony and the whole senior week was special," he said. "It brought closure to the fact that I wouldn't be seeing a lot of my friends that I have been here with for four years this fall, and a lot of my teammates who I have spent so much time with."
    Not that he's lost touch with them.
    "My classmates have been very supportive this fall, which has been fun," he said. "I've been getting text messages or calls every Friday night wishing me luck from a lot of my past teammates and good buddies.
    "That's something that I think is really unique and different about Dartmouth. The personal relationships. I'm sure you establish them everywhere but, I feel like Dartmouth alums and the Dartmouth community in general does a good job of staying connected after graduation."
    For McManus that is just one more reason why his experience in Hanover has been meaningful.
    "Dartmouth has opened my eyes to a different world," he said. "It has broadened who I am as a person. I come from a Midwest background, conservative and Catholic. I wouldn't say it was a bubble because I was exposed to different things and I was very privileged, but coming here and seeing a whole diverse group, not only of race, but of religion and ideas and thoughts and talents, and being exposed to that at such a high level, is really unique and special."
    McManus spent part of the last spring break where he spent the previous one, volunteering at the Holy Family Surgery Center at Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos orphanage in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
       "It was a chance to gain exposure to a lot of surgeries," he said. "I got to help take a tumor out of a little kid's leg and the doctors actually let me help suture up. I helped cook in the orphanage and got to hang out with the kids, which was fun."
    With degree in hand, he hopes to begin post-baccalaureate study in chemistry and biology sometime after the Christmas break with his sights set on eventually attending medical school.
    Before then, however, he would like nothing better than to team up with his brother and help the Big Green win its first Ivy League championship since 1996.
    "It's definitely been a little bit different this year because part of your Dartmouth experience is so integrated with your class and most of those people are not around," he said. "I'm feeling a little bit old with (fellow fifth-years) Matt Oh and Luke Hussey.
    "It will be a good time to hang up the cleats if we can go out on top."
    If they do, don't be surprised if McManus - or two of them - will be in the middle of it.  (Bruce Wood)


Tim McManus is sponsored by Daniel B. Fuller '46 and Joseph H. Moglia

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