Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Sunday, September 23, 2001
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Kamali Roberts First there was Jason Brader. Then there was Anthony Wolfsohn. Now there’s Matt Bernardo.

Behind all of them has been Kamali Roberts.

Although he has been out of the spotlight for most of the last four years, the senior running back has built a solid career with the Muhlenberg football program.

“I don’t mind being second to an all-conference player,” he said. “If I went to another school, it might be a different situation, but as long as we’re winning and I’m contributing to the team, that’s what’s most important to me.”

Roberts, whose first name means “protector of newborn babies” in Swahili, may have been an even bigger contibutor if not for knee ligament tears he suffered midway through his freshman year. He had rushed for 255 yards and a 4.9 average the first half of the season before going down during a game at Johns Hopkins. The injuries set Roberts back, and not only on the depth chart.

“Sophomore year was frustrating because I was out of shape and my knee wouldn’t bend as much as I wanted it to,” he recalled. “But I worked through it because I love the sport and I love playing. I wasn’t going to allow that to stop me from achieving what I wanted to do. It took a while, but right now it feels like I’m back to 100 percent.”

The numbers bear that out. Roberts is the Mules’ second-leading rusher and is averaging 7.2 yards per carry. He scored two touchdowns (the first since his freshman year) two weeks ago against Dickinson and added a touchdown reception in the Franklin & Marshall game.

Off the field, Roberts is a business administration major, although he’s not yet sure what he wants to pursue as a career. One of his current courses that presents some possibilities is on e-commerce.

“The class is really interesting,” he said. “Everybody thought [e-commerce] was going to be the wave of the future. We’re looking at the reasons it wasn’t as successful as it was supposed to be, and trying to go over ways to make people feel more comfortable using it ... If I got into e-commerce, I’d probably go towards the sports side – sneakers, tickets, things like that.”

If you were shopping for a football player on the Internet, you probably wouldn’t add Roberts to your cart. At 5-4, 150 pounds, he doesn’t fit the typical mold. “Size is a big part of this game, but so are speed, quickness, agility and mobility,” he said. “I use those to make up for my size. A lot of people say, you’re small, you can’t do it, but I just look at them and say, yeah, I can do it.”

• Men’s Tennis: Villanova 6, Muhlenberg 1. Muhlenberg finished up 1-2 at the Philadelphia Area Team Tennis Tournament after dropping a match to the Division I Wildcats. Freshman Jeff Kraft posted the lone win for the Mules, at No. 3 singles. Click here for box score.

Bernardo Named Player of the Week
Matt Bernardo Sophomore running back Matt Bernardo of the Muhlenberg College football team has been named offensive player of the week by the Centennial Conference.

Bernardo was honored after rushing for 187 yards on 28 carries and tying two school records in the Mules’ 45-3 CC win at Franklin & Marshall on Saturday. He scored four touchdowns on the ground, matching a game mark set four times previously (including once by Bernardo) and increasing his career total of rushing touchdowns to 25. That ties the school record set by Marty Binder in the 1940s. Incredibly, Bernardo equalled the total in only the 14th game of his career.

Bernardo also became the 20th player in team history to rush for 1,000 yards in a career, finishing the game with 1,156.

For the season, Bernardo leads the 3-1 Mules with 447 rushing yards and leads the CC with 11 touchdowns. The school record for rushing touchdowns in a season is 15; the CC record is 18.

Elsewhere in the CC ...
Western Maryland did its part to set up Saturday’s showdown at Scotty Wood Stadium by defeating Ursinus, 35-9, for its 30th straight league win. The Mules and the Green Terror are both 2-0 in the CC and have outscored their league foes 92-6 and 90-16, respectively. Western Maryland quarterback Boo Harris, the 2000 CC co-offensive player of the year, left the Ursinus game in the first half with a hamstring injury. Junior lineman Joe Rydzewski was the CC defensive player of the week.

In non-league games, No. 3 Bridgewater handed Johns Hopkins its first loss, 50-27. Gettysburg pounded Averett, 61-6, for its biggest margin of victory since 1984, and Dickinson lost to Albright, 27-12.

For more on Centennial Conference football, go to the CC Web site at

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Last updated September 23, 2001