Men's MVP Award to be Named in Honor of Late Rugby Player Mark Dombroski - Collegiate Rugby Championship
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Philadelphia, Pa. — May 2, 2018 — United World Sports, the owners of the largest and most successful annual rugby events in the United States, today announced that the men’s Most Valuable Player Award for the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship will be re-named in honor of the memory of Mark Dombroski, a rising freshman rugby player at Saint Joseph’s University who died while in Bermuda with the team for an event in March.

“We are honored to rename the trophy in Mark Dombroski’s name,” said Jon Prusmack, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of United World Sports. “Rugby is about family, and the loss felt by Mark’s family and friends, the great people at Saint Joe’s and by the entire collegiate rugby community has been very deep. We feel renaming the trophy is a proper way to recognize this young man of great conviction and talent in a manner that will forever tie him to our championship event.”

“Mark loved playing rugby and the friendships he made extended well beyond the field,” said Lisa Dombroski, Mark’s mom. “We want to thank all at the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship and United World Sports for this very important gesture. My husband, Mark’s brothers, and I are tremendously grateful for this trophy being named for him. Mark had a big heart and was kind to everyone and he would be blown away to hear of this recognition. We have established the Mark Dombroski Foundation in his honor with a focus on youth education, athletics, and safety.”

“All of us at Saint Joseph’s University are deeply touched by this announcement and are looking forward to the upcoming Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship where we will be able to dedicate all our effort in Mark’s memory,” said Saint Joseph’s head coach Dan Yarusso.

The Mark Dombroski Most Valuable Player Award will make its debut Sunday, June 3rd at Talen Energy Stadium in suburban Philadelphia, the home of the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship.

Dombroski was a freshman member of the men’s rugby team at Saint Joseph’s from Media, Pa., and attended Archmere Academy (Claymont, Delaware) as a high school student. He was a valuable member of the Archmere Rugby squad that won the High School Rugby Challenge (HSRC) of the Penn Mutual CRC back-to-back in 2015 and 2016. Mark was visiting Bermuda with his parents and his team for a tournament there when he died after an accidental fall on March 18th.

The 2018 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship will mark the eighth consecutive year that the event has been held in Philadelphia and at Talen Energy Stadium. The annual event features the nation’s top 24 men’s collegiate rugby 7s teams, the top 16 women’s teams, a regional competition with a six-team field vying for a spot in next year’s main bracket; the National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO) national championship; and a national high school tournament with both boys’ and girls’ teams.

The three-day rugby event is one of the largest gatherings of collegiate and high school rugby teams in the world. Penn Mutual is in the fourth year of a title sponsorship for the event.

Leading the women’s national championship field this summer is defending women’s champion Life University, which captured the crown last June with a 17-12 victory over Lindenwood University. Lindenwood also returns for the 2018 competition, along with Philadelphia-area favorites Drexel, Delaware, Penn State and Temple, as well as the women’s rugby 7s squads from Bloomsburg, Boston University, Clemson, Dartmouth, Kutztown, Navy, Notre Dame, Virginia, and Virginia Tech, and the National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO) Selects squad, an all-star team chosen from the best of NSCRO’s 7s teams.

The interest in Rugby Sevens (also known as Sevens Rugby) continues to grow after the return to the Olympic Games in 2016, following a 92-year hiatus. The Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship is America’s national sevens championship and serves as the centerpiece of a nationwide effort to build American rugby talent for competition on the International stage. Over the past eight years, the event has produced over 30 players who have gone on to play for the U.S. National teams.

Reserved and field Level tickets to the “World’s Largest Collegiate Rugby Festival” are available online atsevensrugby.com. Single day reserved tickets are $90 and field level tickets are $63, and full weekend reserved tickets are $132 and field level tickets are $79.

 

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