Saturday, May 21, 2022

A Unique Triple?

The St. Ignatius Wildcats (HS) website has a piece celebrating the accomplishments of athletes from the Cleveland high school whose careers will continue in college next year and one of those included in the piece is Sean Ward, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound tight end heading to Dartmouth in August. (LINK)

The capsule reports that Ward was a three-sport athlete and the guess here is that he may well be the only Ivy League recruit this year who lettered in these three sports. In addition to football, Ward averaged 178 while earning MVP honors for the St. Ignatius bowling team and also played on the school's powerhouse rugby team that a year ago appeared in the national championship game against Utah's Herriman High School.

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The SBNation Underdog Dynasty web page has a list of 25 Must-Watch FCS Games in 2022 and coming in at No. 10 was . . . (LINK)

Dartmouth at Princeton - November 5

The Big Green and the Tigers dominated the Ivy League standings in 2021. Both finished with 6-1 conference records and 9-1 overall marks. Dartmouth, though, manhandled Princeton when the two met in Hanover. Now the game comes back to New Jersey and the Tigers will be looking for revenge. After sharing the league title last year, you can imagine that neither team wants any part of that again. Buddy Teevens and Bob Surace are some of the more experienced coaches in the Ivy League and that could make for a really, really good game.

Not surprisingly, given that it is called The Game, No. 3 also featured a couple of Ivy league schools ;-)

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This is kind of fun. Jake Guidone, of course, is the grad transfer lineman from Dartmouth. Jim Mora is the first-year coach at UConn who has come to be a Guidone fan.

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With Dartmouth searching for both a new athletic director and a new president, a sportswriting colleague shared this LINK to a John Feinstein column in the Washington Post about how important it is that a college hires the right people. It's a cautionary tale to be sure.

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EXTRA POINT
The '84 VW camper van is back home and purring like a kitten after a little loving from the Bus Whisperer. 

Hmmm. Do you think the BW works on electric lawn tractors as well? Probably not, which is why this BW (that would be me) will be in the garage today with a wrench in one hand and the other hitting pause and rewind while I try to follow a "lawn tractor maintenance for dummies" YouTube video on my laptop.

This could be a big mistake :-(

Friday, May 20, 2022

The List Revisited

Culled from a HERO Sports list, here is an updated list of Ivy League football players who intend to play elsewhere this fall.

Three points to consider:

• HERO's list is still a work in progress. (I added Dartmouth's Jalen Mackie, heading to UMass, and James Jones III, who yesterday announced his intention to play at New Mexico State. I also added Columbia running back Dante Miller, who is walking on at South Carolina. I'm sure there are more I haven't found.)

• The list does not break down which transfers had used up their Ivy League eligibility, which would be interesting. In Dartmouth's case, the two transfers who could not have returned for a COVID super senior season are Jones and Jake Guidone.

• The list does not include players transferring down, including Dartmouth defensive end Nate Boone, headed to DIII Case Western Reserve.

COLUMBIA
LB Cam Dillon – Rice
DL Paul Akere – Virginia
DB Jordan Colbert – Rhode Island
RB Dante Miller – South Carolina

CORNELL
OL Hunter Nourzad – Penn State
DB Isaiah Hogan – Cal Poly
DB Devon Brewer – Stetson
DB Michal irons – Tarleton
WR Curtis Raymond – TCU

DARTMOUTH
CB Isaiah Johnson – Syracuse
OL Jake Guidone – UConn
TE Robbie Mangas – Buffalo
OL John Paul Flores – Virginia
LB Jalen Mackie – UMass
TE – James Jones III – New Mexico State

HARVARD
DL Chris Smith – Minnesota Notre Dame
OL Spencer Rolland – North Carolina
DL Jacob Sykes – UCLA
DB Khalid Thomas – Samford
DL Anthony Nelson – Villanova
LB Daniel Abraman – Villanova

PRINCETON
P George Triplett – Portland State

YALE
TE Major Roman – Wagner

Transfers TO schools on Dartmouth's schedule:

NEW HAMPSHIRE
DL Pierece DeVaughn – UConn
WR Heron Maurisseau –UConn
DL Kyle Finnick – Dayton

SACRED HEART
QB Cade Pribula – Delaware
TE Mike Bevino – Colgate
DL Nick Foglia – Marist
WR Devin Young – Maine

Editor's Note: Have someone to add to the list? Email me and I'll add the name to the list.

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Speaking of transfers . . .

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Each NFL team has been asked by the league to choose two minority members of its front office to take part in the NFL's inaugural Coach and Front Office Accelerator Program. The Minnesota Vikings chose two former Ivy League players – including one from Dartmouth – as prospective general manager candidates.

Chosen were former Big Green corner Chris Blanco '07, Minnesota's assistant director of pro scouting, and former Princeton wide receiver Chison Opara, a national scout for the team.

Find Chris Blanco's Dartmouth bio HERE.  He joined the Vikings last June after spending nine years as a pro scout with the Houston Texans. He holds a law degree from the University of Iowa.

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EXTRA POINT
Love the solar tracker that gives us free electricity. Given the price of gasoline, we're really loving our Chevy Bolt electric car (even while we await a battery pack transplant).

Not loving the electric lawn tractor.

Originally running for 2-plus hours on a charge, 2½ years after we bought it the tractor is down to less than 10 minutes of run time. According to the manufacturer, battery degradation might have taken perhaps a dozen minutes off the 2-plus hours, but that's it.

A deep dive on internet forums has me hoping it's just a bad cell in one of the tractor's four batteries, and that, in turn, is sickening the other three.

It's also sickening me. I spent seven hours earlier this week constantly filling the tank and walking behind my gas mower and when I finished I was flat-out beat. With rain the last couple of days I know I'll be back out there to do it all over again by early next week unless I can get the tractor fixed.

I wouldn't be happy about it, but I'd gladly pay whatever I needed to pay to get the electric tractor back up to speed but there's a problem. When I went to the manufacturer's website and chatted with a rep, he said there isn't a service center anywhere remotely near here. Home Depot, where we bought the tractor, said they would ship it out for us if we hauled it down there. Now that would be expensive – and I probably wouldn't see it back until summer was over.

If it's just the battery problem I may be in luck.

I found a complete step-by-step YouTube video showing how to pull and test the 12-volt, 100 ah batteries. Trust me, the process is nowhere near as straight forward as it is in your car.

I'll have the laptop out in the garage walking me through the process step-by-step later today or tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed that the problem really is just one of the four batteries and that I can find a replacement. Oh, and that I can reassemble everything successfully without electrocuting myself.

Otherwise it's going to be a really long summer.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Polling Place

Credit the respect Dartmouth football has earned over the past few years for the Big Green being ranked No. 23 in the 2022 HERO Sports FCS Preseason Top 25.

For what it's worth, HERO has Harvard one spot ahead of Dartmouth at No. 22. From the story:

“Harvard gets the nod as preseason favorite here, but it should be an ultra-competitive upper half of the conference in a league that, with said upper echelon, could challenge the neighboring new-look CAA.”

Old friend Holy Cross debuts at No. 17.

Find the full HERO ranking HERE.

Green Alert Take: HERO may have it right but the truth is the ranking is more a result of the Dartmouth going 9-1 in each of the last three seasons and winning the last two Ivy league championships than it is about having any inside knowledge about the Big Green.

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A couple of former Dartmouth players, a former Big Green strength coach and a former Ivy League quarterback are in the news.

Thanks to a loyal reader for pointing us toward a New York Times story about former defensive back JB Andreassi '12 headlined A Broker With a Hometown Advantage Talks About ‘Selling the Hamptons’; JB Andreassi, a real estate agent on a reality TV show, said a lack of inventory has toughened the market for buyers and renters in the popular summer resort area on Long Island. (LINK)

From the story:

Mr. Andreassi, 31, is a broker and builder, selling and developing real estate in the Hamptons, known for its resort towns and waterfront homes. He is an agent for Nest Seekers and is part of the cast of “Selling the Hamptons” on Discovery+, and formerly on the Netflix show “Million Dollar Beach House.”Season 2 of “Selling the Hamptons” is scheduled to begin filming in June.

From the ensuing Q&A with the former Big Green player-turned-reality TV star:

What are the most and least expensive houses you’ve sold?

$20 million. It was listed for $20 million, sold for pretty damn close to that. The least expensive was $810,000, sold to a friend, in Springs.

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The other former Dartmouth player making new is tight end JJ Jones '20 with this Tweet last night:

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The former Dartmouth strength coach in the news gets prominent mention in a story about West Virginia's new $10 million, 36,000-square foot Athletics Performance Center. From the story (LINK):

Overseeing the massive new facility is Kaitlin Sweeney, WVU's assistant athletics director of strength and conditioning for Olympic Sports. Sweeney, a Salem, Massachusetts, native, is part of Mike Joseph's 11-person strength and conditioning team tasked with the vital role of developing Mountaineer student-athletes.

Sweeney arrived at West Virginia in 2018 from Notre Dame. More from the story:

Prior to her time with the Irish, Sweeney served as the head football strength and conditioning coach, as well as the assistant Olympic sports strength and conditioning coach, at Dartmouth (2008-10).

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The former Ivy League quarterback making news is Ryan Glover, who played three years at Penn. He then started six games at Western Carolina. Last year he started one game at Cal and now he's transferring to Memphis. The Fan Nation Cal page has blurb about the peripatetic passer HERE. The story includes this:

Memphis will be the fourth college for Glover, who entered the transfer portal midway through Cal's spring practices but continued to practice with the Bears through the end of the spring workouts.

Green Alert Take: Yup, college football is out of control.

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Speaking of which, @InsidetheNCAA reports the NCAA is going to eliminate the 25 players-per-signing class limit for DI football for at least the next two year as a response to teams losing so many players to the transfer portal. Shane Lyons, West Virginia AD and Chair of Division I Council Tweeted:

"Some schools hadn't given out all their scholarships and felt constrained by the annual limit. This temporary change provides schools more flexibility and adds opportunities for incoming and current student-athletes to receive aid."

Green Alert Take: It will be interesting to see what, if any, effect this will have on Ivy League and FCS recruiting.

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The craziness continues. A high school team in Georgia will be scrimmaging tomorrow with custom QR codes instead of numbers on the jerseys for each senior. Scan the code and it will bring up a page with the player's recruiting information. (LINK)

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EXTRA POINT
I often listen to the Tony Kornheiser Show podcast while hiking and during a commercial this morning TK's son Michael was complaining about problems with deer on his lawn. Tony jokingly suggested a scarecrow as a solution. I may have a better solution. A scarecrow who moves. We'll call it the MVP – Mobile Venison Petrifier!

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Hey, We Know That Guy

HoustonTexans.com is taking "a look at each position on the roster as it sits today, starting with the Wide Receiver Balance Sheet." Dartmouth grad/Baylor transfer Drew Estrada '20 is one three rookies among the 12 players the site discusses.

Regarding Estrada, the site has this to say (LINK):

Estrada returned home (originally from Argyle, TX) to Texas for his final year of college football after starring in the Ivy League at Dartmouth for four years. He was a top 15 WR all-time at Dartmouth before deciding on Baylor for his final season in 2021. When he got to Baylor, he fit right in, starting five games for the 2021 Big 12 champions. He was third on the team with 367 receiving yards and fourth in receptions (30). He has jack-of-all-trades ability and some serious juice down the field. Dartmouth and Baylor both found a way to use him in different ways in the running game as well, given his slipperiness and open field running ability.

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EasternPAFootball has a story headlined, Conrad Weiser Among Nation’s First Football Programs To Use MVP Sprint that includes this (LINK):

 “Protecting athletes is critical and the very reason MVP|SPRINT was developed. It’s a solution that will allow youth, high school, collegiate, and professional players to fully execute a tackle on a non–human device and it eliminates player-on-player contact during drills while maintaining the level of challenge associated with tackling a live person,” said Dartmouth Football Coach, Buddy Teevens, whose Ivy League program was among the first in the country to eliminate full-contact and use the MVP.

In 2014, Teevens challenged and inspired a group of his student-athletes from Dartmouth/Thayer School of Engineering to develop a mobile training device that simulated human motion and performance. Months later, the first MVP prototype made its debut as the first moving-non human target at Dartmouth football team camp’s opening day.

Interestingly, the only quarterback in Dartmouth's incoming recruiting class, Logan Klitsch, is a product of that Conrad Weiser High School program.

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Speaking of the MVP, a site called Destination Athlete, which bills itself as being dedicated to "Building Better Communities Through Athletes" just posted this:

   

 And this: 

 

There's a whole series of 30-second videos featuring the MVP on the site HERE.

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Today's issue of The Dartmouth has a story headlined, Some People Call it a Fly-Over State, I Call it Home; Reflections on coming to Dartmouth from the Midwest. The author writes about . . . (LINK):

. . . how sparse Midwesterners truly are at this school, to the point where people probably couldn’t even place many states in that region on a map.

Whether or not that's true is for others to decide. Here's one thing that is categorically true: All three of Dartmouth's recently elected football captains are from the Midwest.

• Quarterback Nick Howard is from Green Bay, Wis.

• Safety Quinten Arello is from Kansas City 

• Defensive lineman Shane Cokes is from Dayton, Ohio

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"Wiffle" in Colorado in 2020.

EXTRA POINT
Our VW Bus Whisperer called yesterday to inform us that we could pick up our 1984 Westfalia pop-top camper van on Friday. The "Westy" had broken down a few weeks ago, not long after I pulled it out of winter storage, and fortunately it was a minor fix. These wonderful old vehicles are prone to mechanical issues and it's safe to say I'm not what you would call mechanically inclined so we leave it to the Whisperer to keep "Wiffle" going. ;-)

My conversation with the Bus Whisperer went something like this:

VW guy: "I know what was most important for you was that we look it over and do what we can so you can be confident.".

Me (sheepishly): "I'm probably not the kind of person who should own something like this."

VW guy: "The only thing that matters is you love it."

Well said, VW guy. Well said.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Excellence, Indeed

Ivy league champion football players Jalen Mackie '22 and Derek Kyler '21 won two of the top honors at the college's annual Celebration of Athletic Excellence this week.

Mackie, a 6-foot-1, 240-pound senior linebacker and All-Ivy League first-team selection, was presented with the Alfred E. Watson Trophy as Dartmouth's top male student-athlete. He averaged 9.6 tackles per game last fall to lead the Ivy League. He had eight tackles for loss and one interception on the way to making the Stats Perform All-America third team.

The St. Thomas Aquinas graduate from Miramar, Fla., has opted to use his COVID-19 "super season" next fall at the University of Massachusetts.

Kyler, a 6-foot, 180-pound "super senior" quarterback from DeKalb, Ill, and finalist for the 2021 Bushnell Cup as the Ivy League's offensive player of the year, was presented the Kenneth Archibald Prize, recognized as Dartmouth's highest honor. It is presented to "the member of the graduating class who has been four years in attendance, who has been the best all-around athlete, regard also being had to moral worth and high standing in scholarship."

Kyler completed 70.7 percent of his passes last fall, second in the nation. He threw 17 touchdown passes and was intercepted just one time. He wrapped up his career as Dartmouth's all-time leader in completion percentage and passing efficiency and will long be remembered for the Hail Mary pass that gave Dartmouth a 9-6 win over Harvard in 2019.

Find the full Celebration of Athletic Excellence release HERE.

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Speaking of former Dartmouth players, Nigel Alexander '20, like Mackie a linebacker, is included as a "key addition" to the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions in a German Football League 2022 North Preview on the website American Football International. Other "imports" who get a mention come from South Dakota and Portland State among others. (LINK)

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EXTRA POINT
If you are on a mountain when you hear rolling thunder a little too close for comfort it will get your feet moving a lot faster.

When that rolling thunder becomes a sharp, explosive CRACK almost directly overhead it will turn you from a mountain hiker into a mountain runner. Trust me on that.

I was lucky enough yesterday to make it to my car before the rain turned into a gully washer and even luckier to have the car in the garage before the rain was replaced by pea-sized hail that, if it had been much bigger, might have dimpled my car like a golf ball.

I'll be checking the weather radar a little more closely the next time the weather looks threatening while I'm pulling on my hiking shoes. And you can trust me on that, too.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Numbers, You Want Numbers?

On another slow day we take a look back at a few numbers from last fall's final Ivy League football statistics:


POINTS FOR

TD

FG

PAT

2pt

Saf

Pts

Avg

1

Harvard

32

12

39

0

0

267

26.7

2

Princeton

32

11

37

2

0

266

26.6

3

Dartmouth

34

6

39

0

0

261

26.1

4

Yale

27

4

32

3

0

212

21.2

5

Penn

24

8

23

0

0

191

19.1

6

Columbia

18

13

25

0

1

174

17.4

7

Cornell

22

3

21

2

1

168

16.8

8

Brown

17

2

38

0

0

146

14.6











POINTS VS.

TD

FG

PAT

2pt

Saf

Pts

Avg

1

Harvard*

13

6

16

0

0

114

11.4

2

Dartmouth

13

7

15

1

2

120

12.0

3

Columbia

15

1

24

3

0

123

12.3

4

Princeton

18

2

21

0

0

135

13.5

5

Yale

18

9

31

0

0

166

16.6

6

Penn

26

11

24

1

0

215

21.5

7

Brown

27

1

52

1

1

221

22.1

8

Cornell

31

7

34

0

0

241

24.1


* 1 Def PAT allowed


















Yards For

Rush

Pass

Plays

Yards

Avg

TD

YPG

1

Brown

1348

3119

817

4467

5.5

37

446.7

2

Dartmouth

1937

2123

629

4060

6.5

39

406.0

3

Princeton

1268

2655

725

3923

5.4

38

392.3

4

Yale

1331

2496

687

3827

5.6

36

382.7

5

Cornell

1168

2429

678

3597

5.3

24

359.7

6

Harvard

1630

1919

679

3549

5.2

36

354.9

7

Columbia

1575

1625

682

3200

4.7

28

320.0

8

Penn

1257

1757

631

3014

4.8

22

301.4











Yards Against

Rush

Pass

Plays

Yards

Avg

TD

YPG

1

Dartmouth

1111

1599

630

2710

4.3

16

271.0

2

Princeton

733

2009

652

2742

4.2

19

274.2

3

Harvard

646

2287

708

2933

4.1

16

293.3

4

Yale

1171

2098

693

3269

4.7

30

326.9

5

Penn

1334

1943

670

3277

4.9

23

327.7

6

Columbia

1287

2313

717

3600

5.0

27

360.0

7

Cornell

1483

2131

681

3614

5.3

34

361.4

8

Brown

1786

2694

649

4480

6.9

53

448.0


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Dartmouth held open placekicking tryouts on the Friday before the Green-White Game and four days later this appeared on YouTube:

 

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EXTRA POINT
Our final stop before leaving Quebec Saturday afternoon was at a Tim Hortons on the way out of Magog to buy a box of Timbits, essentially donut holes.

A box of 20 cost $4.49 Canadian, hardly a bargain but it's a tradition that we bring some Tim Hortons home each time we cross the border.

I should probably start at the beginning. Before heading north on Saturday morning Mrs. BGA dug up a baggie of Canadian coins from our various trips to Montreal, Quebec City, the Eastern townships and British Columbia over the years.


When she went to pay for the Timbits she dug out four loonies, a quarter, two dimes and four pennies and started counting them out for the lass running the register. She got a horrified look when she got to the pennies. In heavily French-accented English, the cashier finally said, "We don't take those."

Actually they could, but apparently Tim Hortons is one of the businesses that decided to "round up," or "round down" after Canada retired the penny about a decade ago. (LINK)

We had no problem handing over $4.50 and I guess you could say swallowing the penny (and eventually the yummy Timbits ;-) but we had to laugh at the price still being quoted as $4.49 and the receipt reading, "Change Du: $0.01"

For what it's worth, if we had used a debit card we could have saved the penny. But where could we have spent it?

That's my 2¢.