For Kutztown’s leading receivers Jerome Kapp and Mason McElroy, playing at Andre Reed Stadium is something they do not take for granted.
They’re two of six Golden Bears who graduated from high schools in Berks County and now have the opportunity to play at the collegiate level not far from where they grew up.
“It’s been a blessing that I’m close to home,” said McElroy, a Wilson grad. “I probably have 10 to 20 people come to every game, so it’s awesome.”
This season, Kapp and McElroy have helped lead Kutztown to a 9-1 record and a second consecutive appearance in the PSAC title game. The Eastern Division champion Golden Bears will host Western champ Slippery Rock on Saturday at 12:05 p.m.
“Those guys work extremely hard,” KU coach Jim Clements said. “They’re dedicated to setting the example to the younger guys of how to go about your business, how to work.”
Kapp, a Boyertown grad and redshirt junior, leads Kutztown with 662 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. McElroy, a graduate student, ranks second on the team with 278 receiving yards.
“They’re leaders,” Clements said. “Two really good players and leaders.”
Kapp transferred to Kutztown after taking a redshirt year as a freshman at Seton Hill in 2018. The move from western Pennsylvania back to Berks proved to be the right one for Kapp.
“It’s awesome,” he said about playing for the Golden Bears. “It’s a decision that I’ll never regret.”
On the offensive line, sophomore Adam Kase made a big impact for Kutztown early in the season. Although the Conrad Weiser grad tore an ACL and is out for the rest of the year, Clements is optimistic about Kase’s potential.
“He was phenomenal for us,” Clements said. “He’s going to be really good.”
On defense, outside linebacker Kam Wolfe, a junior, has recorded 30 tackles and two sacks. The Gov. Mifflin grad also has gotten substantial playing time on special teams.
“He’s a hard-working kid,” Clements said. “He’s gotten better every year he’s been here.”
The other two Berks grads on the roster are Brandon Strausser, a freshman linebacker from Gov. Mifflin, and Alex MacKenzie, a redshirt sophomore tight end from Conrad Weiser. MacKenzie has played in two games.
Clements and his coaching staff have been able to use Kutztown’s location to their advantage when it comes to recruiting. There is a wealth of high school football talent within a short drive from campus, especially in Berks County and surrounding areas.
“Southeastern Pennsylvania, it’s been good to us,” Clements said. “Local kids that are in the area know that they’ve got a really good Division II football team in their backyard 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 Golden Bears from Berks County.
“We talk crap to each other, but it’s all love, honestly,” McElroy said. “It’s a family here.”
Source: Berkshire mont