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Shepherd Team River Runner wins national championship

By Staff | Sep 2, 2016

Submitted photo Members of Team River Runner-Shepherd’s Team Ram Rod who won the national championship at the Veterans Kayak Football HOF Challenge August 7 include (front row, l. to r.) Josh Junk, veteran paddler from the Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania TRR who filled in during championship game; Billy Boylan, veteran paddler from the Battle Creek Michigan TRR chapter who filled in during first round play; Brendan Pepper, veteran and local community paddler; and Joe Mornini, executive director and co-founder of Team River Runner USA; (back row, l. to r.) Colin Drew, veteran paddler from TRR-Shepherd; Matt Buchwitz, TRR-Shepherd team captain and a Shepherd student; and Nic Young, veteran paddler from TRR-Shepherd and a Shepherd student. Not pictured: Joe Woodburn, veteran paddler from TRR-Shepherd and a Shepherd graduate; Shannon Zimmerman, volunteer from TRR-Shepherd and associate registrar for records/veteran certifying officer at Shepherd; Tracy Seffers, chapter coordinator from TRR-Shepherd, and registrar/veteran certifying officer at Shepherd; and Danielle Brosan, volunteer from TRR-Shepherd.

Shepherd University’s Team River Runner (TRR) Team Ram Rod kayak football team won the national championship at the Veterans Kayak Football HOF Challenge Aug. 7 at Willowdale Lake Country Club in North Canton, Ohio. Members of Team Ram Rod came home with the coveted trophy-a small football attached to a Styrofoam pedestal ornamented with a tiny kayak paddle and sprayed with gold paint.

TRR kayak football teams have five members who are wounded veterans, active duty service members, family members or other community supporters. The games take place in a space the size of an Olympic swimming pool and combine kayaking skills with those of football, water polo and hockey. Each half lasts five to ten minutes with a short break in between.

Team River Runner-Shepherd is the first and only chapter in West Virginia, established in April 2013 by a team of instructors, outfitters, volunteers and supporters from Shepherd, the community and the VA Medical Center in Martinsburg. For more information about TRR-Shepherd, visit www.shepherd.edu/veterans/trr-shepherd.