Expansion for 2nd Year of Higgins Scholarship
Thursday May 28, 2009 in Off the Field General
May 28, 2009 - To honor one of the most celebrated players to ever pull on a United States Eagles jersey, the United States Rugby Football Foundation has announced the second year of the Kevin Higgins College Scholarship Program.
Last fall, the USRFF awarded six $1,000 Kevin Higgins College Scholarships to deserving high school seniors who went on to play rugby in college. This year, the USRFF will once again provide up to 10 Higgins Scholarships. These independent scholarships are open to all graduating high school rugby players in the US who will be pursuing their rugby career while continuing their education at the collegiate level.
A dashing number 13 who could play a rugged 12 and also outpace most on the wing, "Higgy" was a three-time Collegiate All-American at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. Kevin was still a student when he made the first of 28 test match appearances against Japan in 1985. He represented the United States at the first two Rugby World Cups, in 1987 in Australia and 1991 in England, and captained the team three times, a testament to his overall skill and leadership. Kevin also earned 16 caps with the USA 7s team, making three trips to the Hong Kong 7s.
Kevin's skills were recognized internationally. He was selected to play for the Barbarians, an international all-star team, on their annual Easter Tour. Higgy was also selected for the Teljoy World XV, teaming with the likes of Alan and Gary Whetton, Grant Fox, Bernie Fraser, Stan Pilecki, Buck Shelford and fellow American, Mike Purcell. On the domestic scene, Kevin helped OMBAC to three national club championships.
Kevin touched the lives of his teammates, friends and opponents in so many ways, that he was as cherished off the field as he was on. Those who had the honor of playing alongside him, against him, touring with him and working with him still smile as classic Higgy stories are shared. He lifted the spirits and work ethic of every squad he joined. He played with a passion second to none. Such zest for the game sadly led to frequent concussions, prematurely ending his playing career and perhaps contributing to his untimely passing in 1996.
"The Rugby Foundation is once again proud to be able to be a part of the Kevin Higgins Scholarship Program," said USRFF Executive Director Brian Vizard, a former teammate of Higgins. "We received strong applications from over 20 graduating seniors last year and the outpouring of support from the rugby community allowed us to provide six of those with scholarships. We look forward to increased support and participation from those who knew and loved Kevin and from the rugby community at large who admired his commitment and contributions to the game. Our goal is to be able to grant 10 scholarships in the coming year."
Help keep Kevin's legacy alive by donating to the Kevin Higgins College Scholarship Fund.
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