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RUGBYMag.com has named Amber Kutnink as their Small College Women’s Player of the Year for 2013.
Kutnink is a flanker for Wayne State in Nebraska, where she led them to a
2012 national title. She captained the Great Plains U23 team and toured
with the Midwest Thunderbirds U23 team before returning to Wayne State to
lead them to a second-straight National Small College Rugby Organization
(NSCRO) title in 2013.
Kutnink was named MVP of the national tournament as she helped Wayne State cap off a 16-1 season.
As well as an excellent player for Wayne State, Kutnink distinguished herself as a leader, orchestrating the team’s conditioning workouts and communicating with players unable to attend practice. When the Wayne State rugby facility was struck by a tornado, Kutnink was instrumental in helping cleanup not only at the rugby field, but area farms also damaged.
She leads the team’s bible study group, as she has for the last three years, and is active on the leadership team for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Kutnink and several other players were nominated by NSCRO coaches from around the country.
RUGBYMag.com also selected two Honorable Mention players. They are:
Leslie Ota, Fordham University. A prop/no. 8 for Fordham, Ota was named a USA Rugby All American and has been the team’s perennial Forwards MVP. She is the driving force behind her club’s work to be better.
Coach Renne Ovrut said the pre-veterinary major did not get a big head after being named an All American. “She is a leader and example in her demeanor on the field. Never once did she think she was inferior because we play in NSCRO … Her feedback from her experiences of practicing and playing on the team showed Leslie’s true love and appreciate of rugby and she has brought … knowledge from her experience and has shared that with her team.”
Kayla Lindros, University of New England. The founder, president, and captain of the University of New England rugby team, Lindros was the team’s MVP in 2013 and won the Heart & Soul award at the NSCRO Northeast playoffs.
She spearheaded the work to establish her new club both with on-campus administration and within her union, and also was their best player. The No. 8 led UNE to an undefeated regular season during the fall.
Kutnink will receive a scholarship to attend a USA Rugby Academy High Performance Training Camp run by Serevi Rugby.
The Honorable Mention players will receive a $50 gift certificate from World Rugby Shop.