What better day to celebrate the University of Saint Francis Cougars’ NAIA Division II National Championship than on St. Patrick’s Day?
The 2010 NAIA Champions returned home on Wednesday night to a loud and rowdy crowd of nearly 1,000 friends, fans, parents, grandparents, USF alumni, USF administrators and support staff, and friends of USF athletics. The Cougars bus, which was decorated with the names of the players and coaching staff by member of head coach Jeff Rekeweg’s family, was escorted from I-69 by three Allen County Sheriff patrol cars and a pumper truck from the fire station on the corner of Spring and Lindenwood.
“I was completely in shock,” USF junior guard Austin Leisure said with a grin. “Unreal. I was thinkin’ ‘a police escort all the way to school?”
“I didn’t know there would be that many people here,” DeJovaun Sawyer-Davis said. “I’m just surprised so many people showed up.”
USF marketing director Mike McCaffrey did the intros for each player and after the team received words of praise from USF president Sister M. Elise Kriss and Director of Athletics Mark Pope, it was Rekeweg’s turn at the mic.
“There are so many to thank from Sister Elise and the entire USF administration to my wife and children, to all of the support staff who work our home games, to the Fort Wayne community and the northeastern Indiana region, my assistant coaches and the Houligans (a group of student fans who cheer the Cougars at a fever pitch), we say thanks for your support and we share this with you,” Rekeweg said. “This is unbelievable.”
“This was great, just awesome, a real surprise,” Ferdie Morales-Soto said with a smile.
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