Central Penn College and Harrisburg Heat Enter into a Strategic Partnership
Professional soccer is putting down roots in Summerdale, home of Central Penn College.
Since November 2021, 10 Harrisburg Heat players have been living in apartments on the college’s Summerdale campus, as part of a new strategic agreement between the professional soccer team and Central Penn.
“With this agreement, we are pleased to announce that Central Penn College will be the official housing sponsor of the Harrisburg Heat,” said Romeo Azondekon, Vice President of Student Services at the college.
“We are both grateful and excited for this opportunity and partnership and look forward to the many mutually beneficial aspects available,” said Carl Delmont, owner of the Harrisburg Heat.
Supporting Local Soccer
“We hope Heat fans will become Knights fans, and that our students, faculty, and staff will find Harrisburg Heat home games a great place to cheer on a local team,” said Michael Fedor, Vice President of Advancement & Strategic Initiatives at Central Penn College, who helped negotiate the partnership.
Also as part of this partnership, the Heat organization will partner with Central Penn Athletics to provide soccer clinics for high school and college players to be hosted at Central Penn College. The team and Central Penn College Knights Soccer will collaborate on a number of programming initiatives throughout 2022.
“One of my former club players,” added Delmont, “graduated from Central Penn College recently, and we have worked with the college’s coaching staff, so this is a natural extension of our community involvement. Everyone at Central Penn has been outstanding to work with.”
Central Penn College has taken a number of steps in the 2021–2022 academic year to invest in its collegiate athletic programs. In 2021, Brian Osborne was hired to lead at the helm of the men’s soccer team at Central Penn College, kicking off a multi-year effort to recruit a USCAA championship-capable team. In late fall, the Central Penn College Knights announced it was a founding member of the Eastern Conference in USCAA athletics, the first step toward securing regular collegiate playoff-qualified teams.
Central Penn College is currently working to select a permanent home field for Knights collegiate soccer. The institution expects to make an announcement in the coming months.
“This partnership is a win-win for both organizations,” said Azondekon, who has been at the college since 2011. “The Harrisburg Heat players––many of whom are international players––receive housing near where they work and practice. And our student-athletes will get to participate in expanded athletic programming and learn directly from some of the best professional soccer players in the country. ”
Summerdale, located in Cumberland County, is minutes from downtown Harrisburg. The Heat practice and play their games at the Farm Show Complex.