2008 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship Grant Recipient
San Diego, CA (October 6, 2008) - Pat Hickey has wanted to play rugby since he was 10 years old. His dad played in Ireland and with a local men’s team in Maryland but there were no youth rugby teams in the area. Driven to play, Pat brought a pile of registration forms to his 5th grade class and soon a team was born. Pat’s core group of 16 players grew to a high school aged club with 42 boys and a separate team of 32 girls. That team has played together for eight years now. They’ve traveled to Ireland, won several championships and this year, took first place in the Potomac Rugby Union.
As the former captain of the North Bay U19 team, Pat understands the appeal of rugby.
“Rugby has taught me the true meaning of sportsmanship. There is no trash-talking like I’ve seen in basketball; no screaming for physical harm like I’ve seen in football; no arguing with the officials like I’ve seen in soccer; and no elite status and drive for individual glory like I’ve seen in baseball. Rugby is truly a team sport. Everyone is welcomed in rugby—every shape, size, speed and background. With rugby, you learn to love it in minutes, but you can play it for the rest of your life.”
Jeff Holmquist, one of Pat’s coaches for the North Bay U19 team, has only praise for his former player.
“Although Pat is an exceptionally skilled player, it is his leadership and his outstanding personality that make him an ideal candidate for this honor. Pat created the North Bay U19 team through his own passion for rugby and through his popularity in the community. Without him, there would be no team. Pat gathered the players and was such a driving force in the creation of the North Bay team, that as a freshman, he was voted by the players to be their captain. His father, the head coach, insisted that the captain should be a senior. But it was clear during that entire year that it was Pat who motivated the team, kept them together, and was their leader in all aspects. In his sophomore, junior and senior years we let the team members vote for the captains, without regard of their age, and Pat’s been chosen captain by the team ever since.
“Last year when the team traveled to Ireland, Pat raised his own money to go by selling discount cards door to door and helped organize a barn concert to raise money. He helped out at the Bull Roast fundraiser and was chosen by his teammates to give the thank you speech to the over 400 guests.
“On the field, Pat is the ideal rugby player. He’s a generous team player and never seeks individual glory for himself. He never argues a call from the referees and he gets along well with his teammates. He clearly has their respect. Pat is also an outstanding student and has been involved in a number of charitable causes. He has won the sportsmanship award at school for varsity soccer. He is clearly bright enough to have been selected to attend the University of Delaware, which he told me over a year ago that it was his first choice, in large part because of the rugby program. It is without reservation that I recommend Pat Hickey for a Kevin Higgins College Scholarship. I cannot fathom another individual who is more deserving.”
Pat had a GPA above 3.5 all four years at C. Milton Wright High School in Bel Air, MD finishing with a 3.6 GPA. In addition to rugby, Pat is also interested in science, medicine, politics, world history, the media, and current events and hopes to be a chiropractor or physical therapist one day.
Congratulations Pat on being named a Kevin Higgins College Scholarship recipient.
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