KERR & ROGERS SET TO LEAD CATS IN 2021
Kerr & Rogers will bring strong leadership to the 2021 Wildcats side. (Photo credits: Alex Ho)
January 7- Arizona formally announced their team leadership for the 2021 season as Riley Kerr will serve as the 52nd captain of the program. Joining Kerr is Fullback Jon Rogers, with the pair both coming off of strong 2020 seasons. While the 2021 season is yet to be finalized due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team has returned to campus with the duo playing integral roles in the preparation.
For Kerr, his announcement as captain is the continuation of his rise since his arrival in Tucson in 2017 from Queensland, Australia. The Number Eight emerged as a major factor in the Forwards last season, earning 2nd team All PAC-12 while also emerging as a Sevens mainstay. "I am honored to be able to lead the boys this year and follow in the footsteps of great leaders in the program before me. I can't wait to get out on the field and play some good footy." said Kerr. Director of Rugby Sean Duffy has pointed to the unique demeanor and major productivity of his standout back row. "Riley is a guy that for years the boys pointed to as one of the leaders. He was quiet at first, but always attentive, and always providing small-voice leadership in our sessions. To see him now be the big voice is a well-deserved honor" said Duffy. Kerr is the second straight back rower to lead the program, following last year's captain Bronson Teles.
Rogers' selection as 2021 Vice Captain is a unique one in that he will also serve as Captain for the Sevens program, similar to Ben Scoular's role last year. The standout Fullback and former Granite Bay (CA) star earned 2nd team All PAC-12 last year in Fifteens, and helped lead the Wildcats to the cup final of both major tournaments in their Sevens season. He follows 2020 Vice Captain Lucas Bartizs, while also being the third in his family to hold a captaincy, following in the footsteps of Kyle (2018) and Matt (2019). "It is a true privilege to be a leader of the program and follow in the footsteps of my brothers and the many other legendary players before me. I'm looking forward to a great season and putting in some work with the boys" said Rogers. "Jon is such a dynamic player for us. To now see him not only take the next step as a player but also as a leader is incredible to watch" said Duffy.
The Wildcats recently completed a modified preseason and have returned to campus for the start of what they hope will be a strong 2021 season. While they await final word on what that looks like, the team looks primed for another run to the playoffs with strong leadership from Kerr, Rogers, and the many other Seniors in the squad. In addition, the side welcomed a strong recruiting class that has already made a positive impact on the program.