Home > Zach Thorum - 2011 Higgins Scholarship winner

 Zach Thorum -
 2011 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship Grant Recipient

San Diego, CA (December 19, 2011) - Zach Thorum can be an inspiration to us all. Life has not been easy for the 18 year old. His father passed away when he was 12 years old. Just making it from week to week was a difficult task. Despite his setbacks Zach worked hard in the classroom and on the sports fields but nothing seemed to go his way. That is until he found rugby.

The hard work Zach was putting in on the practice field for rugby juggernaut Highland was starting to pay off. The coaches started to reward him for his efforts by slotting him in ahead of more talented players who weren’t willing to put in the effort. The hard work shown on the rugby field started to enter all facets of Zach’s life and things started to turn around. Despite being cast adrift, Zach stayed in school while living with teammates or coaches.

Rugby played a major role in Zach finishing out his high school years. “I thought about dropping out and starting fresh but I knew I couldn’t leave my boys and coaches. They have meant so much to me and have affected my life in so many ways. Rugby has changed my life for the better and I am proud to be a rugby player.”

Zach showed his versatility at Highland playing at flyhalf, fullback, wing and center. He climbed the ranks through the talented squad at Highland going from a sub on the 25 man roster on the 9/10th grade state championship team his freshman year to suiting up for every one of Highland’s U19 games his junior year.

Zach didn’t play his senior year as he transferred to the newly opened Herriman High School. Herriman had a rugby team but seniors weren’t allowed to play. Rather than play for Highland, Zach did what Herriman’s head coach Jeff Wilson described as “one of the most unselfish gestures that I have witnessed from a young man his age,” by offering to give up his senior season at Highland to help Wilson with the start up program at Herriman.

With Zach being the “only coach on the staff who attended every minute of every single practice during the year’ other than the head coach, Herriman’s new program not only survived but flourished, finishing 11-1, won the 9/10th grade league title, finished third in the state and defeated eventual state champions Highland in league play.

In addition to his rugby playing and now coaching prowess, Zach was involved with a program through his high school called Mustangs Making a Difference. MMAD raised over $3,000 for one of Zach’s fellow student’s father who was diagnosed with Stage 4 Melanoma cancer. Zach was part of groups that ran a booth at a Utah Flash basketball game, organized a school dance, went through the community handing out information and collecting donations. Zach also assisted in cleaning up local parks, donated time with a food drive, collected blankets for an area hospital and helped the elderly.

Zach continues to mentor many of the new players on his Dixie State college team. “Zach is always one of the first to show up for training,” said Calvin Schumaker, President and Captain of the Dixie State team. “He always tries to help some of the newer boys that are out there. He always has a great attitude. His work ethic is one of the best on the team and he has lifted the burden from some of the other players with his knowledge of the game.” Oh yeah, he’s added a new position to his dossier as he was recently moved from flyhalf to scrumhalf. You guessed it, he excelled at his new found position.

Zach wants to get a degree that he “is proud to have” and would love to start a family when he knows he is “financially ready” and become a father that “he knows he can be.” His other goals include continuing to volunteer “my time in the summer by building roofs and shelters for the elderly and become a successful person in this country and to society.” Congratulations Zach on being named a 2011 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship recipient.

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