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Vicente Rivas -
 2017 Kevin Higgins College
Scholarship Grant Recipient

San Diego, CA (December 31, 2017) - “Rugby has become a central pillar in my life and allowed me to evolve as a student-athlete,” said 2017 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship recipient, Vicente Rivas. Rivas turned toward rugby during his sophomore year of high school with an eagerness to try something new. Initially, he did not know what he was getting into, but like any true rugger, he quickly found his life’s passion.

Rivas began his rugby career playing with the San Louis Obispo Rugby Club U16s and in the same season he got the opportunity to compete with the U18 team in a playoff match. He earned captains honors in 2015-2017 and competed in the Regional All-Star Tournament for three consecutive seasons. Rivas joined the San Louis Obispo Men’s Rugby Club in the summer of 2017, playing in 7s tournaments in Santa Barbara and the regional area.

Whether it’s playing 15s or 7s, Vicente has been a valuable member of the San Luis Obispo Rugby Club. “He is a key part of any squad he plays with, using good judgement in his fly half position to best serve his team,” said Reggie Greenwood, San Louis Obispo Rugby Club, Director of Youth Rugby. “The number one quality of Vinnie is his ability to raise and inspire his teammates to muster and see through winning with compassion and dignity with defeat.”

Vicente, a National Honor Society member, graduated from San Louis Obispo High School in June of 2017 with a 3.89 cumulative grade point average. He was a three-sport athlete at SLOHS, participating on the varsity wrestling, football, and track and field teams. Off the pitch, he performed in leading roles in two separate theatre productions with SLOHS. He was also an active member of the SLOHS Associate Student Body during his junior and senior years, where he served as commissioner of graphic design and intramural sports. When he wasn’t busy volunteering or participating in extracurricular activities, he was working for the catering company Food is Art/The Pairing Knife, where he served as a food truck cashier, prep cook, line cook, and waiter at formal events for four years.

He is continuing his academic and rugby career at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California where he is eager to hone his skills and earn a starting spot for the Broncos. At Santa Clara, Rivas intends to pursue a degree in the management or marketing fields with aspirations of working in Silicon Valley one day.

Paul Keeler, Vicente’s coach at Santa Clara, had this to say about his promising freshman fly half.

“I have only known Vicente to epitomize the core values of our club: community, sportsmanship, discipline, integrity and exemplify a commitment to excel in all endeavors. Vicente has continuously volunteered his time to take part in numerous team outings. He has represented his club, university and country, both on and off the field, admirably and without incident.

“When players first come to the university, they are unaccustomed to my style of play, style of coaching or the onus I place upon the player in terms of their own personal accountability. Not only does Vicente thrive under this model, he was able to deal with the initial frustrations that others seemed to experience and was instrumental in helping to build a fabulous team culture. It is my estimation that our success is because of our team culture and work ethic of which Vicente epitomizes. Vicente is the first to arrive for training and would often lead members on additional fitness runs. He is the first to volunteer for our fundraisers, field set up and clean up, and can be relied on to lead the players, till the job is done. He faithfully rallies new players to support other sports teams and our own club by working their matches, games and events.

“I truly believe Vicente’s true character and values make him an excellent candidate for the Higgins Scholarship and is an outstanding example of what a student-athlete should endeavor to be."

Congratulations Vicente, on being selected as a 2017 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship recipient.

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