The time has come for Kutztown University.
After wishing and hoping they could be invited to or qualify for the USA 7s CRC in Philadelphia, and missing out in 2011 and 2012, the Bears will be at PPL Park this June, and they couldn’t be happier.
“We are really excited,” said Tim Acker, who missed eight months of rugby last year due to injury. “I came back for my 5th year for that reason – to play in the CRC. We kept hearing that we might be in, we had a shot. It was such a relief to get invited. The nation knows now that Kutztown Rugby can play, and they want to see us on that big stage.”
Acker and many from Kutztown Rugby were confident they could not only perform well in the CRC, but could bring fans.
“We have a big fan base in the Philadelphia area, and we have always felt we could bring our fans to the event,” said Acker. “And we have a lot of foreigners from our team, but they’ve stayed around the area with their families, and they want to help.”
Kutztown Coach Paul Presinzano, who does a lot of work with the Kutztown 7s team, said the alumni are fully engaged.
“We have the alumni really excited, and the administration is very supportive of us,” said Presinzano. “But at the same time, while we are excited to play in the CRC and be on NBC for the rugby program, we think this is an opportunity to talk about Kutztown University as a whole. We have a lot of great varsity programs, we’ve got a great football team and baseball team and softball team. I think we want to represent all of Kutztown University.”
That attitude will carry them far. The Kutztown players and coaches know their school is not an enormously well-known school. But the CRC could do for KU what it did for Life University last year. And everyone in rugby knows they can play 7s, and logic dictates they will bring fans. But to approach the CRC as an opportunity for the University as a whole will certainly make the Kutztown University higher-ups happy.
“The alumni are also really excited, and we are working really hard to make sure we are prepared,” said Presinzano.
The USA 7s Collegiate Rugby Championship will be at PPL Park for the third-straight year. The tournament will be held the weekend of June 1-2 just outside Philadelphia. Tickets are on sale now.