Martin Keuchkerian -
2016 Kevin Higgins College
Scholarship Grant Recipient
San Diego, CA (December 26, 2016) - 2016 Kevin Higgins
Scholarship recipient Martin Keuchkerian can be called a man of many sports. From handball to mixed martial arts,
you name it, Martin has played it all! But from the moment Martin was
introduced to rugby for the first time, he knew it would become his biggest
passion. The Uruguay native began his rugby career with the Montevideo Cricket
Club in Solymar, Uruguay at age eight.
Martin played eight
years with Montevideo and was captain for six out of those eight years in U13,
U15, and U17. Shortly after emigrating to the U.S., he began playing for the
Mystic River Rugby Club in Malden, Massachusetts. The flanker/center has appeared
on both the U19 and Division I men’s side for the Mystic River Gulls. Martin
shined in Mystic’s summer U19 program, where he led the team in tackles and
tied for the team’s lead in scoring. He has also been selected on more than one
occasion as a high school player on a collegiate select-side, where he
represented the Mystics in a match against a developmental side for Team
Martin’s notable rugby
career has included a few hardships along the way, as he tore his ACL playing
high school football and missed out on an opportunity to try out for the U.S. age-grade
team in 2014. Through 15 months of rehabilitation, Martin was able to overcome
his injury. He appeared in his first post-injury game with the Mystic’s on a
U19 tour to Ireland in spring of 2016 and was selected “Man of the Match” in
two out of three games. Upon returning to the pitch, he re-earned his spot on
Mystic’s Men’s Division I panel and competed for the National Championship.
Even though his high
school did not have a rugby team, Martin was selected for Massachusetts
select-sides. He will continue his rugby career with the University of Virginia
Cavaliers this fall. He aspires to one-day play professional rugby in the
United States and Europe and to ultimately become a member of the U.S.A.
Martin’s ability to
balance work, school, and rugby with superior results is the ultimate testament
of his character and will to succeed. “He has exhibited the same
characteristics that he has exhibited in rugby with his academics and work
life. He is determined, intelligent, and hard working. I have no doubt that he
will continue to be successful in all of his future endeavors,” said Thomas
Clark, Mystic River Gulls U19 head coach.
Martin exceled in the
classroom, graduating from Revere High School in Revere, Massachusetts in 2016
with a 3.97 GPA and ranked 38 out of 408 students in his class. He is a member
of the National Honor Society and president of the Italian Honor Society.
Martin even received the President’s Award for Educational Excellence which honors recipients with individual recognition from the
President of the United States and the U.S. Secretary of Education for their
educational excellence and academic growth in the classroom. He has also
received academic honors for excellence in mathematics and history.
In addition to rugby, Martin
participated in several community service projects and extra curricular
activities. He has dedicated his time and efforts by volunteering with the
Italian Honor Society, various national health related charity walks, and
Revere High School. He served as coordinator and volunteer for Revere’s Blood
Drive for the Red Cross, planted trees in his community after Revere’s tornado,
and translated and interacted with children during family community nights. Martin
was also a member of “Power of Know”, a group of student leaders dedicated to
raising awareness of the dangers of tobacco, alcohol, and drug use. The club
strives to get students more involved in school activities as healthy
alternatives to destructive behaviors.
Martin says that rugby
has taught him dedication and discipline that has been applicable to every
aspect of his life. “Before rugby I was an average student, not bad but nothing
impressive either. But once I started studying like I played rugby everything
changed. My grades went nearly perfect, my tests had little to no error, and I
became very vocal in the classroom. Rugby did not just teach me how to be a
better player, but instead, how to be a better person that strives for success
in every aspect of his life.”
Martin will continue
his academic and athletic excellence at the University of Virginia this fall
and intends to double major in aerospace and mechanical engineering. He says he
understands aerospace engineering is one of the toughest careers there is, but
he is eager and ready for the challenge. His career goals include working for
NASA or SpaceX upon graduating from UVA, while ultimately hoping to make a
professional career out rugby.
has seamlessly transitioned to the collegiate rugby level with the University
of Virginia Rugby Program. He is described by UVA Head Coach, Hennie
van Zyl, as a player with extreme rugby knowledge and single handedly was the best
player on the UVA rugby team. “He shows good leadership and is just a great
advocate for the game of rugby. I see a great rugby future for Martin,” said van Zyl.
Congratulations Martin, on being named a 2016
Kevin Higgins College Scholarship recipient.
Read about Andrew Baldado, 2016 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship recipient.
Read about Hannah Beagley, 2016 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship recipient.
Read about Chris Costa, 2016 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship recipient.
Read about Malik Hearon, 2016 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship recipient.
Read about Dante Lopresti, 2016 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship recipient.
Read about Ryan Maxfield, 2016 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship recipient.
Read about Kyle Patmore, 2016 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship recipient.
Read about Megan Rose, 2016 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship recipient.
Read about Becca Rosko, 2016 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship recipient.