Excitement was the theme as the Dartmouth football team participated in pre-season practice while gearing up for the season opener against Colgate.
With Buddy Teevens '79 roaming the sidelines again in his second stint as the head coach of the football team, the Big Green is hoping to turn things around after last year's 1-9 record.
"We want our guys to play with a lot of spirit," Teevens told The Valley News. "We pride ourselves on physical and mental toughness, discipline and execution."
"We have the athletic ability to compete with anyone," said defensive end Anthony Gargiulo '06, "and now with fresh offensive and defensive approaches, we'll have the added edge we need to win."
The Big Green kicked off the season with a non-conference match-up, hosting the Raiders on Sept. 17 at Memorial Field. In the season opener last year, the Big Green scored a touchdown as the clock expired but failed on the two-point conversion attempt that would have sent the game into overtime.
The team expects that a change in attitude will lead to a reversal of fortune after last year, when five of Dartmouth's losses came by a combined 20 points.
"As a senior I am really looking forward to this season," said Gargiulo. "I truly believe that with Coach Teevens at the helm our team will realize its full potential and win those tight games that we lost last year."
The Big Green followed up the opener with a game at in-state rival New Hampshire the following week. Dartmouth begins its quest for the Ivy League championship with a match-up against Penn at Memorial Field on Oct. 1.
"There's no reason why this team can't beat any other team in the league," said Gargiulo.
"There's work to be done," said Teevens, "but the goal is to win the Ivy League championship."
Walk into Alumni Gymnasium these days and you're just as likely to hear the roar of a jackhammer and other power tools as you are the clanking of weights and splashes in the pools.
As part of an ongoing series of improvements and additions to the College's athletic facilities in recent years, construction crews are hard at work building new fields and rejuvenating existing ones. Renovations to Alumni Gymnasium will breathe new life into the facility and help it continue to serve the students who participate in intercollegiate, club, intramural and recreational activities.
"These new and improved facilities will be showcase elements of the Dartmouth campus," said Director of Athletics Josie Harper.
As the centerpiece of Dartmouth's athletic facilities, Alumni Gym is currently undergoing a $12 million renovation and rejuvenation which will add a new 14,000-square foot recreational fitness center and eight new multi-use fitness spaces totaling roughly 10,000 square feet once completed. It will also include improvements to the infrastructure in Karl Michael Pool and a new elevator serving all four levels of the gym to increase accessibility.
The rejuvenation of Alumni Gym is just the latest in a series of significant improvements to Dartmouth's athletics facilities. This September, the Corey Ford Rugby Clubhouse and rugby playing fields were dedicated, becoming the newest resource for the College's students to use.
The construction crews will continue to be seen around campus well into the foreseeable future. With a $4.5 million commitment from Stanley Smoyer '34, a new soccer facility will be added to the Chase Field complex that will include permanent seating for 1,600 spectators, a natural grass playing surface and NCAA approved lighting. The facility will be named after Alden "Whitey" Burnham '46A, a former Big Green soccer coach. Plans are also underway for a new varsity house and Memorial Field's playing surface will be replaced with a new synthetic turf, an improvement that will allow more students to make more efficient use of the facility.
"We're enhancing the overall experience for our varsity athletes," said Harper, "and creating wonderful fitness resources for the entire Dartmouth community."
Recent years have also seen the addition of Scully-Fahey Field, Boss Tennis Center and Gordon Pavillion, Blackman Football Practice Fields and the McLane Family Skiway Lodge.
Other facilities have also undergone substantial renovations, including Hanover Country Club, the squash facilities in the Berry Sports Center and Leverone Fieldhouse.
Recent graduate Erin Bingham '05 receieved the 2005 ECAC Award of Valor during the ECAC Fall Convention Honors Dinner in September, presented by Jostens, Inc. Director of Athletics Josie Harper received the Katherine Ley Award.
Bingham is a diver who overcame two threatening illnesses during her career. She underwent brain surgery to remove a tumor at the base of her skull and later was diagnosed with avascular necrosis, the same ailment that sidelined the professional sports career of Bo Jackson. After a seven-month rehab, she finished her career among the all-time best at Dartmouth in both the one-meter and three-meter.
The Katherine Ley Award honors someone of demonstrated leadership ability, a proponent of women's issues and a role model for women coaches and administrators. Harper became the Big Green's Director of Athletics in June 2002, becoming the first woman to hold the position both at Dartmouth and in the Ivy League.
Former Dartmouth quarterback Brian Mann '02 served as the double for Adam Sandler in the recent re-make of the 1974 comedy classic The Longest Yard. In order to make the action realistic, Mann, currently a backup quarterback with the Los Angeles Avengers of the Arena Football League, threw more than half the passes in the film.
Mann landed the job after auditioning for the role in 2004. Since college players would have lost their eligibility and the Avengers starting quarterback was left-handed, Mann was next in line to try out for the part.
It wasn't all fun in the sun, however. Mann also had the unenviable task of enduring bone-crushing hits from former NFL players Bill Romanowski and Brian Bosworth.
Two Dartmouth athletes earned a chance to compete internationally after their performances at the U.S.A. Outdoor Track and Field Championships this summer.
Mustafa Abdur-Rahim '04 finished sixth in the decathlon with 7,618 points, landing him a spot on the U.S. team that competed against Germany later in the summer.
"It feels great to represent the United States," Abdur-Rahim said. "I'm excited to see the international side of the sport and to experience track outside the U.S."
Mike Carmody '08 had a fourth place finish in the 800 with a time of 1:51.34, good enough to be chosen as an alternate for the Junior Team that competed at the Pan American Championships in Canada.
Two-time Olympic silver medalist Adam Nelson '97 brought home a gold medal from the World Track and Field Championship competition in Helsinki, Finland, in August after a shotput throw of over 71 feet. Nelson, one of 22 Olympians in Dartmouth's history, won the silver medal in the Sydney, Australia games in 2000 and again last year at the games' ancient site in Olympia, Greece.
As an undergraduate, Nelson was a member of the football team, was a three-time All-American track and field selection as well as the 1997 NCAA Outdoor Shotput Champion. He has been a gold medalist in the Goodwill Games (2001), a two-time USA Indoor champion and a three-time USA Outdoor champion. Nelson is considered to be one of the top shotputters in the world.
Following his triumphant victory in Helsinki, Nelson and sprinter Justin Gatlin donated their U.S. competition kits to the IAAF humanitarian project, "Athletics for a Better World."
By BEN FLICKINGER '04
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Last Updated: 5/30/08