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O captain ... and my other captain: Dartmouth football chooses two leaders

  • Dartmouth College receiver Hunter Hagdorn (1) falls to the Memorial Field turf during Saturday's Green-White scrimmage marking the end of the Big Green's 12 spring workouts. Drew Estrada makes a touchdown catch in the foreground. (Valley News - Tris Wykes)

  • Dartmouth College football players Jack Traynor (51) and Isiah Swann debate who will address the team first after they were announced as the 2019 co-captains during halftime of Saturday's Green-White scrimmage. Traynor is a linebacker and Swann a cornerback. (Valley News - Tris Wykes)

  • Dartmouth College linebacker Nigel Alexander stands over receiver Drew Estrada after an incomplete pass during Saturday's Green-White scrimmage. The workout, the last of the Big Green's 12 during the spring, consisted of roughly 100 plays. (Valley News - Tris Wykes)

  • Dartmouth College offensive line coach Keith Clark congratulates freshman John Paul Flores on Saturday upon his receiving an award as the team's most improved player in that position group. Flores and others were honored at halftime of the Big Green's Green-White scrimmage on Memorial Field, the last of 12 spring workouts. (Valley News - Tris Wykes)

  • Dartmouth College quarterback Jake Allen (11) scrambles past Calvin Atkeson (65) and Jackson Yost (94) during Saturday's Green-White scrimmage on Memorial Field. The event was the last of the Big Green's 12 spring workouts. (Valley News - Tris Wykes)



Valley News Staff Writer
Sunday, May 05, 2019

HANOVER — The biggest surprise of Dartmouth College’s final spring football workout on Saturday? Not quarterback Derek Kyler’s 16 pass completions in 17 attempts against what’s expected to again be one of the Ivy League’s best defenses. Kyler’s a cool customer, as he showed last fall.

Not a passel of penalties, seven of them in the first half of the three-quarter, no-tackling scrimmage. With depth chart positioning at stake, anxious young players jumped offsides repeatedly.

No, the eye-opener was the selection of just two co-captains for next season and the fact that both play on the defensive side of the ball.

Dartmouth has used tri-captains for all but one season since 2010 and has always had at least one representative from offense and defense during that stretch.

Big Green coach Buddy Teevens said that 20 players received first-ballot votes and that a second and final round was conducted on Saturday morning produced All-Ivy linebacker Jack Traynor and All-American cornerback Isiah Swann.

Quarterback Jared Gerbino and guard Zach Sammartino were also surely candidates and would have provided positional balance, but Teevens said he’s fine with the way the vote played out.

“I’m not concerned about it,” the coach said. “With the number of guys who were voted for, we have leadership within the offense.”

Said Traynor: “We have so many guys who have played a lot of snaps, who know how to lead these guys on the offensive end. They know without having that C on the chest they’re going to be given that burden.”

Gerbino sat out Saturday’s action because of illness and that left plenty of action for Kyler, who split time behind center with Gerbino last season. Kyler, who started that campaign red-hot before cooling significantly later in the fall, looked sharp during the scrimmage.

“That’s probably the best he’s played all spring,” Teevens said. “He was comfortable. He’s not a real emotional guy one way or another. He just kind of gets out and does his job. I thought he made some timely throws, he was accurate and he threw the ball away when necessary.”

Third-string quarterback Jake Pallotta completed 11 of 16 passes for 60 yards, and Florida transfer Jake Allen hit on 11 of 21 tosses for 60 yards. Drew Estrada had five catches for 60 yards and a touchdown; Hunter Hagdorn, Ethan Maenza, Masaki Aerts and Dakari Falconer each caught four passes; and Joe Kramer and R.J. Brandon each caught three.

Zack Bair ran for 34 yards, Conor Davis made three of five field-goal attempts and Davis Brief averaged 38 yards on six punts and dropped two of them inside the 20-yard line.

Also sidelined on Saturday was sophomore Jake Guidone, who played on the offensive line and at tight end last season. Guidone worked the scoreboard from the track behind the offensive bench, his right arm in a sling. The big man was hurt earlier this spring while riding his bicycle on campus.

The Massachusetts native said he tried to navigate a patch of sidewalk that turns from cobblestones to cement, but his front wheel jammed against an upturned chunk of pavement and he flipped over the handlebars. The hope is that physical therapy and strength work during the spring and summer will prevent the need for surgery.

“I felt it pop when I hit the ground,” Guidone said. “I landed really hard, and I knew right away that it wasn’t good.”

Ever-increasing numbers of Dartmouth players ride motorized scooters around campus, causing their coaches to fret. That a significant injury would occur under pedal power and not horsepower was unexpected.

The Big Green distributed most improved awards in each position group for spring practice:

■Quarterback — Jake Allen.

■Offensive line — John Paul Flores

■Running back — Dakari Falconer

■Receiver — Masaki Aerts

■Tight end — Robbie Mangas.

■Kicking game specialists — Conor Davis

■Defensive line — Jordan McGriff and T.J. Simpson.

■Linebacker — Mick Reese

■Safety — Niko Mermigas.

■Cornerback — Darren Stanley.

Flores is the younger brother of former Dartmouth standout Jacob Flores, who spent time with the NFL’s Green Bay Packers and who won the same award while with the Big Green.

Notes: Former Dartmouth quarterback Jack Heneghan, a 2018 graduate, earned an invitation to try out at the New York Giants’ NFL minicamp over the weekend. Heneghan was a late cut from the San Francisco 49ers training camp last year. … Eight Dartmouth coaches will be on high school campuses nationwide for recruiting visits on Monday… Among those watching Saturday’s action was former Dartmouth football star and head coach Jake Crouthamel. He was alongside onetime sports information director Jack DeGange.

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com.