2008 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship Grant Recipient
San Diego, CA (October 6, 2008) - Tyler has been playing the game now for just over two years, mainly due to the fact that there wasn’t a rugby team at his high school. He changed that when he was able to create a team in less than a week by signing up 28 players. By the end of the year, the East Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, NC had 36 players. All due to the efforts of its leader, Tyler Vanston.
Ramon Villacura, Tyler’s coach at East Mecklenburg, thinks highly of his student and player.
“I have known Tyler in the academic arena where he has been with me for two consecutive years performing at a very high level, as well as having coached him on the rugby field for the same amount of time. Tyler is more than just a rugby player. He has been the team leader, role model and captain for the past two years. During this period of time I have been able to see his creativity, independence, self-motivation, focus, goal orientation and overall leadership, grow.”
Tyler was selected by his teammates as the team’s MVP for the 2008 season. In addition to his prowess on the field, Tyler has led several community service projects in and out of the school environment including organizing East Mecklenburg’s first Charity Invitational Rugby Tournament to assist four families in need at the school.
Tyler is now attending Wake Forest University and his new coach, Patrick Kane, is impressed with his freshman center.
“My first opportunity to meet Tyler came in the beginning of March when Tyler’s high school team came to Wake Forest to play in a high school tournament that we host. Prior to the first match of the day, Tyler sought me out and introduced himself to me. We spoke for less than five minutes but it was immediately apparent that he was mature, intelligent, polite and confident. Before I had even seen him play a minute of rugby I knew he was someone I wanted on my team. That feeling grew immensely once I saw Tyler in action. Playing at #13, his skills were far superior to most every high school player on the field that weekend. His passing, running lines, field awareness and most of all his tackling were superb.
“A few weeks after Tyler made his final decision to come to Wake I attended the North Carolina High School State Championship match in which Tyler’s team was playing. In leading his team to a massive victory, Tyler scored three tries from the outside center position while not missing a single tackle, a performance that would have made Kevin Higgins extremely proud. Tyler is everything that is right about youth rugby in this country. He is a leader. He is dedicated to his sport and his team. But most importantly, he is dedicated to his education. I recommend Tyler for one of the inaugural Kevin Higgins Scholarships without reservation.”
Tyler is interested in sports fitness and rehabilitation and is majoring in Exercise Science at Wake Forest.
Congratulations Tyler on being named a Kevin Higgins College Scholarship recipient.
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