Mercer named team captain

by Adam Small | 5/22/01 5:00am

With two-time captain Caleb Moore '01 graduating and heading towards the NFL's Tennessee Titans, the Dartmouth football team needed to choose its next captain in the hopes that he might lead the Big Green to their first winning season since 1997. The choice was made yesterday by Coach John Lyons: Matt Mercer '02 will be Dartmouth's new captain.

Mercer, a linebacker, was Dartmouth's leading tackler this past season with 75 solo stops and 113 tackles total. Mercer was one of three Big Green players named to the the first team All-Ivy in 2000.

Mercer also won the Bob Blackman award as the team's most valuable player this past season.

Mercer made six stops for a loss in 2000, second on the team to defensive end Dan Hutchinson '01's 11. The linebacker was also second in passes broken up with four, behind cornerback Trevor Nealon '02's nine.

Mercer also added three quarterback pressures to his statistical resume.

After freshman and sophomore seasons limited by injury, only 30 tackles (19 solo) in 1999, Mercer burst on the scene last year with huge games early in the season against Holy Cross (16 tackles, 7 solo) and Yale (15 tackles, 8 solo).

Mercer is no stranger to the accolades and attention having been an all-area player at Barrington High School in Barrington, Ill. He was also a player in the Illinois North-South all-star game after being named most valuable defensive player.

Mercer will lead a veteran and talented linebacking crew next season with Josh Woods '03 and Gordon Quist '02 as his fellow starters. The linebackers look to be the strongert unit among the defense with a younger secondary and a defensive line hit by three graduations.