Rob Mabry -
2011 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship Grant Recipient
San Diego, CA (December 19, 2011) - Rugby has been such a big part of Rob Mabry’s family life he says “it’s almost impossible to separate the two.” Rob’s father, Paul, has been a part of Texas Rugby for several decades. His mom and dad met through Paul’s rugby friends and his Godfather is a rugby player. He never felt pressure to play the sport although he did add that he was “strongly encouraged.”
Looking back at his start with the St. Thomas High School team in Houston five years ago I think it’s safe to say that Rob is glad he responded to his dad’s nudge to get involved with the sport. It wasn’t easy for Rob that freshman year at St. Thomas. “St. Thomas is a very challenging 110 year old college prep school and I probably was not as prepared as most of the other freshmen for the academic load. In fact my first year was abysmal.”
Rob credits rugby for helping him make it through. “The only motivation I had to keep working when I was pretty discouraged was that I had to stay eligible academically to stay on the rugby team.” Rob made steady progress over the next three years and finished with a respectable 3.2 GPA.
Rob started out on the St. Thomas freshmen team his first year in high school but by the end of the year was finding playing time with the junior varsity program. As a sophomore, Rob was the starting JV scrumhalf and was selected as the team’s captain for several matches. Rob made his way to the varsity team his junior season and helped lead St. Thomas to a 3rd place finish in Texas.
Rob and St. Thomas had stellar seasons last year. St. Thomas won the Texas State Championship. At the end of the year, Rugby Magazine listed St. Thomas as #8 in the nation. The team also took to the road touring the northeast with matches against Philadelphia’s St. Joseph’s and Charlotte Catholic in Washington, DC. Rob started at scrumhalf in every match and was one of the team’s vice-captains. He was named Man of the Match a team high five times and was chosen as the team’s Most Valuable Offensive Player.
There’s more to Rob Mabry than just rugby however. Throughout high school Rob was very active in the Houston community with the Boy Scouts of America, the Houston SPCA and the Houston Food Bank. At the SPCA, Rob completed 40 hours of service in both his junior and senior years. He also volunteered several hours at the Houston Food Bank.
He did all this while completing his Eagle Scout service project. That project included planting 231 trees along a Houston bayou after Hurricane Ike destroyed the natural canopy of the area. He also recruited 48 volunteers to assist in the replanting efforts. In addition to the trees, Rob also led a group of volunteers in erecting six duck houses after the ducks were forced out of their previous homes by the storm. That’s in addition to the countless other BSA projects he was involved with leading up to his Eagle Scout project.
“If ever there was a kid on his path to excellence, Rob is the man,” said Rob’s high school coach James Wolfinger. “I believe the principals that make rugby such a wonderful sport have and will continue to serve Rob well in the future. He is the perfect example of what’s right in rugby.”
Rob is looking for a “good global education” while in college and he believes he’s found the right school at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL. He wants to follow the lead of those who helped him when he’s out of school. “I want to give back to the community just as my scout leaders, family, coaches and other influences have done.”
He also wants to travel internationally. “The world is becoming a much smaller place and I am interested in how we interact as a country and individuals on a global basis.”
Congratulations Rob on being named a 2011 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship recipient.
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