HANOVER, N.H. — The Dartmouth football team gathered before the start of spring practice for its annual banquet while handing out the team awards with the Coach Bob Blackman Trophy, bestowed upon the team MVP, going to fifth-year senior cornerback and punt returner Danny McManus.
McManus (Mendota Heights, Minnesota) was an All-Ivy League Second Team cornerback, ranking fourth in the Ivy League with nine passes defended including an interception, fourth with two fumble recoveries and 17th with 55 tackles, collecting a season-high 12 against Columbia. As the punt returner, he ranked 16th nationally and second in the conference with an average of 8.8 yards per return.
The Alan Hewitt ’34 and Robert Hewitt ’40 Award, given to the player who best epitomizes athletic performance with academic achievement, was earned by senior quarterback Jack Heneghan (Atherton, California). An economics major with a 3.79 GPA, Heneghan led Dartmouth to an 8-2 record and a second-place finish in the Ivy League standings completing 185-of-293 passes (63.1 percent, 18th among FCS quarterbacks) for 2,136 yards and 17 touchdowns with just six interceptions, plus ran for 162 yards and a score to earn all-conference honorable mention. The 6-5, 230-pound senior also was named CoSIDA Academic All-District I, Fall Academic All-Ivy League and an FCS Athletics Directors Association All-Star, not to mention the NFF Hampshire Honor Society last month.
Junior Matt Kaskey (Winnetka, Illinois) was the recipient of the Jake Crouthamel Award as the offensive player among the underclassmen who made the most significant contribution to the success of the team. The 6-7, 325-pound left tackle was an All-Ivy League First Team selection 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. He also 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.
The Kenneth T. Young Award, bestowed upon the top defensive player among the underclassmen, went to junior Jack Traynor (Lake Forest, Illinois), a unanimous All-Ivy League First Team 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.
Jeremiah Douchee (Chicago, Illinois) was the recipient of the Lester R. Godwin Award, presented to the senior football squad member who has risen above personal disadvantage to contribute measurably to the team. The fifth-year senior tri-captain overcame a number of injuries his first three years in Hanover, but he was healthy for the past two years, playing in all 10 games in 2017 while recording 28 tackles as a reserve defensive lineman and blocking three kicks.
Earning the Gordon P. Bennett Award as the outstanding lineman was Nick Tomkins (Matawan, New Jersey). A second-team All-Ivy League defensive lineman, 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 senior made a career-high eight tackles, coming in a 28-27 win over Yale and a 10-0 shutout of Cornell.
Ryder Stone (Calgary, Alberta) was given the Earl Hamilton Varsity Award 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. The 14th Big Green player to rush for 1,500 yards in a career and 16th with at least 130 points, Stone led the team with 675 rushing yards (4.7-yard average) while running for four touchdowns this past fall.
Taking home the Earl Hamilton Freshman Award was D.J. Terry (Manvel, Texas) as the freshman who made the biggest contribution to the team and had the characteristics of Hamilton as well. During a season in which only three freshmen saw any action in a varsity game due to a veteran squad, the 6-1, 190-pound cornerback played in six contests, mostly on special teams, collecting two tackles on kickoff coverages in the 54-44 victory over Princeton in the season finale.
Jared Gerbino (Lake Forest, Illinois) was the recipient of the Doten Award as the member of the sophomore class who made a significant contribution to the success of the team. The 6-4, 230-pound wildcat quarterback saw action in nine games and ran for 428 yards at 5.0 yards per carry, plus led the Big Green with seven rushing touchdowns. Four of those scores came in the wild win over Princeton as Gerbino ran for 202 yards, and he provided the game-winning score at Penn as time expired to beat the Quakers, 16-13.
Senior Colin Boit (Sammamish, Washington) 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. A 6-2, 215-pound safety, Boit was fifth on the team with 55 tackles to go with an interception and a fumble recovery, plus recently earned a tryout with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Stubby Pearson Award, established in 2007 and presented to an underclassman on the football team whose character, leadership on campus, high academic standing and performance on the playing field most resembles that of Charles “Stubby” Pearson ’42, was handed to junior David Emanuels (Mercer Island, Washington). In eight varsity games, the 6-1, 225-pound linebacker contributed 11 tackles with a season-high four in the opener at Stetson while joining in on a sack.
The recipient of the John M. Manley ’40 Award was senior Brennan Cascarano (Glenview, Illinois) for demonstrating the most improvement through his effort in the weight room. The defensive end played a part in all 10 games, making 14 tackles with one sack in a win at Sacred Heart, plus broke up three passes, two coming in the shutout of Cornell.
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 Brock Bacon (Dallas, Texas). Injuries cut his career on the gridiron short, but he stuck with the team and served as a manager throughout the fall, contributing in any way he could.
Senior Emory Thompson (Lexington, Kentucky) took home the Special Teams Award. Known more for his exceptional work as a wide receiver, finishing the season with 28 catches for 259 yards and three touchdowns, Thompson savored his role on kickoff and punt coverages. He was regularly the first man down the field and doled out numerous blows while amassing 10 tackles, and at least one in eight of the 10 games.
The recipient of the Reggie Williams Award, presented to the member of the Big Green football program who through leadership in action and word has made Dartmouth a better place, was senior tri-captain Kyran McKinney-Crudden (Glastonbury, Connecticut). The nickelback finished the year third on the team with 61 tackles while breaking up six passes and intercepting another just outside the end zone late in the fourth quarter to preserve the 29-26 victory at Sacred Heart.
Finally, senior wide receiver Charles Mack (Woodbridge, Virginia) 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.”