A changing of the guard for Dartmouth's football team

by Paul Glenn | 11/26/07 2:22am

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Tim McManus '11 earned the Earl Hamilton Freshman Award this year.
by Tilman C. Dette / The Dartmouth

Cottrell led the team in tackles this season with 56 on his own and 52 assists. He grabbed three interceptions and captained the defense.

"It's just such a huge honor that I can't put into words how much it means to me," Cottrell said. "It's very humbling to be added to a list of past winners that includes some of the great players in Ivy League history."

On Monday, Cottrell was selected to the first team All-Ivy roster. The All-Ivy team is selected by a vote of coaches in the conference.

Cottrell is no stranger to the MVP award. He was honored as the most valuable player at his high school, Mainland, in his hometown of Somers Point, N.J. He also received all-conference honors that year.

Although his collegiate football career is over, Cottrell said that he hoped to have the opportunity to continue playing football.

"I haven't even begun to come to terms with the fact that my Dartmouth career is over. I've had such an amazing time playing football here and met so many amazing people that I don't know what I'm going to do next year not being around the program. I've been playing football my whole life, basically, and it hasn't hit me yet that I might be done playing."

The Class of 2008 is the last group of players who played under former head Coach John Lyon. Cottrell reflected on the experience of undergoing a coaching transition in 2005.

"The situation was completely new to me because I had never experienced a coaching change like that before," Cottrell said. "It was exciting knowing that we were going to have a chance to prove ourselves all over again as players and that we would have an opportunity to turn things around for the program."

Teevens certainly has begun to turn things around, improving Dartmouth's record in each year that he has coached. He spoke at the end of the season about the important role that the now-seniors played in "laying a foundation for success." One of the players who will try to build on that foundation in the coming three seasons is McManus.

"[The seniors] really had us expecting success and it's up to the underclassmen next year to continue this expectation and act on it," the coach said.

McManus was a standout quarterback at Saint Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights, Minn. He was limited to the QB position in high school by his coach, who feared that he could be injured in other positions. Teevens, however, has used him all over the field. He has lined up at wide receiver, quarterback and tailback, and had 385 receiving yards and two touchdowns, as well as 50 rushing yards.

"It was truly an honor to receive the rookie of the year award," McManus said. "I was really proud of our class for all we did to push this program forward. We have a lot of talent and all of us are excited to take Dartmouth football back to the top."

McManus, like most freshman athletes, explains his decision to come to Dartmouth as a combination of the opportunity to play on a varsity team and the prospect of receiving a top-quality education. He also talked about his excitement to play under Teevens.

"When I came for my visit I just got a sense of knowing that this was the right place for me," McManus said. "The students I met were very kind and personable and they all seemed happy here. The coaching staff was a big part of my decision as well. The opportunity to learn from Coach T was something I couldn't turn down."

Teevens speaks highly of McManus, especially of his versatility. He will factor into the Dartmouth offense in a big way in the coming seasons.

"I came to Dartmouth with the firm belief that this was a program on the rise," McManus said. "We were competitive this year which is a start, but it is far from where we want to be. We all came to Dartmouth with the intent of winning an Ivy League Championship; that is without a doubt our ultimate goal."