Ben tossing the ball around in the park
Ben tossing the ball around in the park

Ben Pinkelman was born June 13, 1994, in Omaha Nebraska. He moved to Colorado when he was three and would spend the next 15 years in a suburb of Denver. Ben graduated from Cherry Creek High School in 2012. He currently is in his fourth year at Colorado State University, where he studies Criminal Justice.

Ben has been playing rugby for six years, and currently plays for three different rugby teams. Colorado State Ram Rugby, The Denver Barbarians Rugby Club and The USA Eagles.

Rugby has two different seasons. During the fall and winter Ben plays 15’s. It is 15 on 15, with 40 minute halves. In the spring and summer Ben plays 7’s. It is 7 on 7, with 7 minute halves. He excels at both.

The video above gives you an idea of how good Ben is a rugby. These shots were taken at last year’s Serevi Tournament in Glendale, Colorado. The Denver Barbarians placed second over all.

In the past six years Ben has found a lot of success playing rugby. While none of it has come easy, he has a long list of accomplishments. In high school he had two MVP seasons and three MVP seasons at Colorado State University. In 2013-2014 Ben was selected to play with the Under 20 Men’s National Team. After four camps he made the final squad, and traveled to Hong Kong for 20 days in April. They placed third and Ben won Man of the Match against Uruguay.

Ben came back from Hong Kong with even more traveling to do. In May of 2014 he became the first recipient of the Graham Downe’s Memorial Scholarship. This gave Ben the opportunity to Travel to South Africa for six weeks and train with the South African team, the Sharks.

Ben returned to Colorado in August and focused playing with Colorado State and The Barbarians. In October he learned that he was selected to play with the USA Eagles in a tournament in October. Ben left for 20 days to play in Canada against teams like Canada, Uruguay, and Argentina. Ben won a Man of the Match award in the final game. USA Rugby named Ben Youth Rugby Player of the Year for 2014.

During the 2015 rugby season with CSU he won team MVP, and scored a hat-trick in three out of their seven spring games. He was also awarded Best Forward of the Year in the Western Division.

*video credit to Rugby Town USA and Music by Ryan Little – Creative Commons.*