Dartmouth roundup: Football picked for third in preseason poll

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Published: 8/10/2021 9:41:55 PM
Modified: 8/10/2021 9:42:00 PM

HANOVER — Dartmouth College left its last football season as Ivy League co-champion. The Big Green will have some obstacles in the way as it attempts a repeat.

Dartmouth was predicted for a third-place finish by Ivy League media members in the Ancient Eight’s preseason poll, released on Monday. The Big Green’s 2019 title was a league-record 19th, and achieving No. 20 will have the usual suspects standing in the way.

Princeton received eight first-place votes and collected 113 points to sit atop the poll, with Yale — co-champ with Dartmouth two years ago — nine points behind with six first-place votes. One of the 16 voters did take Dartmouth to win the title as the Big Green edged out Harvard by one point (88-87) for third place.

The bottom half of the poll had Penn in fifth (61 points), Brown in sixth (52), Columbia in seventh (44 but with the other first-place vote) and Cornell bringing up the rear (27).

Longtime Dartmouth head coach Buddy Teevens will have to replace a significant number of starters from his 2019 roster, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. Between two years of graduations and loss of last year’s season to the COVID-19 pandemic, Teevens has just fifth-year safety Niko Mermigas and senior nickel back John Pupel as significant returnees.

Fifth-year quarterback Derek Kyler is expected to lead the offense. Kyler has thrown for 2,437 yards in his career, completing 68.2% of his passes. Fifth-year center Evan Hecimovich and senior J.P. Flores will help anchor the line, and two other veterans, Masaki Aerts and Zack Blair, are expected to take starting skill-position jobs.

The Big Green’s season begins at Valparaiso on Sept. 18.

TRACK AND FIELD Zepf, teams honored

HANOVER — Recent graduate Tim Zepf, along with the men’s and women’s track and field teams, were recognized recently by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Zepf made both the USTFCCCA all-academic roster with all of his Big Green teammates, he was also chosen an all-academic athlete by the association. He maintained a minimum 3.25 grade-point average while participating in the 800-meter run in just four meets, including NCAA regionals, in a schedule cut short by the pandemic. He posted a personal-best time of 1:48.39 at regionals, a result that’s the second-fastest in Dartmouth history.

Both Big Green track and field teams earned all-academic distinction for a cumulative 3.0 GPA. The men were among the top 15 nationally with a 3.482 GPA, and the women had a 3.556 that was fourth in the Ivies and the program’s best record in the last decade.

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