2020-21 RICHARD DONELLI MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT
Rugby gave Kobie Tuckson his voice and a newfound confidence both on and off the pitch. Once a meek high school player, he confidently tapped into his natural leadership skills and became a force to be reckoned with. Tuckson’s vibrant energy and passion for the game led him to the pitch at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, where he is currently a student athlete for the Bears.
Tuckson’s rugby career began when he was eight years old for the Washington Warriors Youth Rugby Club in Washington, D.C. He began training in touch and eventually advanced to tackle rugby. His early exposure to the game helped him develop both as an athlete and a leader. During high school, he played for the Bell Griffins Rugby Team and served as team captain. His high school career was chock full of accolades, including a selection to the High School Division II All MET 1st team, selection and participation for Eagle Impact Rugby Academy D.C. travel side, and an invitation to try out for the USA Rugby U18 Youth Olympic Team.
“I have witnessed Kobie mature to the level of a leader. Unlike traditional American sports, rugby requires a level of patience that is not common, particularly in football. When Kobie played his first game, his athleticism and intensity were obvious. What he didn’t understand at that time was how to channel that intensity in a way that would benefit his team, teammates and himself,” said Marcus D. Wood, Washington D.C. Youth Rugby Warriors Coach, “The team looked up to Kobie because he showed no fear and a strong desire to be successful. One of the benefits of rugby is that it allows an individual to grow as a person and player due to its character building tenants.”
Now a student at Kutztown University, Kobie is majoring in sports management with career aspirations of owning his own athletic gym one day. He would like to give back to the rugby community that shaped him by providing nutrition and strength and conditioning guidance to young athletes. He currently works on the mobile fitness unit with the Health and Wellness Division of Maryland National Capital Park and Planning. He is also curious about learning more about internal operations of sports organizations to help him better connect to the industry. Kobie stays connected in the rugby community by serving as a volunteer for Washington D.C. Youth Rugby.
When he is not on the pitch, Kobie also volunteers on the Kutztown campus helping with welcome and move-in day activities, hosting seasonal events for children in the local community, and representing Kutztown Rugby at as many philanthropic events as possible. He is embracing the role of student-athlete and also excelling in the classroom with a 3.2 grade point average.
Kobie is committed to training hard, staying focused on the pitch and in the classroom, and giving his all to his teammates to help lead Kutztown to many victories. He would like to one day play at the professional level and explore any and all opportunities available to him.
“I don’t know of anyone on our team at the moment that is more deserving of this award than Kobie Tuckson,” said Dr. Gregg Jones, Head Coach of Kutztown Rugby.