Berks County’s products are a major influence on Kutztown University’s football
For Kutztown’s leading receivers Jerome Kapp and Mason McElroy, playing at Andre Reed Stadium is not a matter of course.
They are two of six Golden Bears who graduated from high school in Berks County and now have the opportunity to play at college level not far from where they were born.
“It’s been a blessing to be near home,” said McElroy, a Wilson graduate. “I have probably 10 to 20 people coming to each game so it’s great.”
This season, Kapp and McElroy have helped lead Kutztown to a 9-1 record and a second straight appearance in the PSAC title game. Eastern Division Champion Golden Bears welcomes Western Champion Slippery Rock on Saturday at 12:05 p.m.
“These guys work extremely hard,” said KU coach Jim Clements. “They strive to give the younger guys an example of how to go about their business and how to work.”
Kapp, a Boyertown graduate and Redshirt junior, leads Kutztown with 662 yards and seven touchdowns. McElroy, a graduate student, ranks second on the team at 278 yards.
“You are the leader,” said Clements. “Two really good players and leaders.”
Kapp moved to Kutztown after completing a redshirt year as a freshman at Seton Hill in 2018. Moving from western Pennsylvania back to Berks turned out to be the right one for Kapp.
âIt’s great,â he said of playing for the Golden Bears. “It’s a decision I’ll never regret.”
On the offensive, the second Adam Kase had a big influence on Kutztown at the beginning of the season. Although Conrad Weiser’s graduate tore a cruciate ligament and is out for the rest of the year, Clements is optimistic about Kase’s potential.
“He was phenomenal for us,” said Clements. “He’s going to be really good.”
In defense, outside linebacker Kam Wolfe, a junior, has 30 tackles and two sacks. The Gov. Mifflin Graduate has also gotten considerable playtime on specialty teams.
âHe’s a hard working kid,â said Clements. “He’s got better every year he’s here.”
The other two Berks alumni on the list are Brandon Strausser, a freshman linebacker to Governor Mifflin, and Alex MacKenzie, a redshirt sophomore from Conrad Weiser. MacKenzie has played in two games.
Clements and his coaching staff were able to use the Kutztown location to their advantage in recruiting. There is an abundance of high school soccer talent just a short drive from campus, especially in Berks County and the surrounding area.
“Southeast Pennsylvania, it’s been good for us,” said Clements. “Local kids who are in the area know they have a really good Division II soccer team in their yard that plays really good football that could be an option for them.”
According to McElroy, local high school football is still a topic of conversation – and the subject of a little trash talk – between the Berks County’s Golden Bears.
“We talk crap, but honestly it’s all love,” said McElroy. “There is a family here.”