2020-21 KEVIN HIGGINS COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT: BRETT DOWGIEWICZ OF CAL
2020-21 KEVIN HIGGINS COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT
Brett Dowgiewicz credits rugby for shaping him into a well-rounded athlete, but more importantly, an even better student, friend, and young man. He has translated the lessons he’s learned on the pitch into his everyday life, helping him strive to become a more efficient communicator, leader, and understanding member of his community. He revels in the rugby culture’s ability to serve as a means to connect people of different races and backgrounds, and is grateful that the sport has provided him with a larger, more appreciative outlook on life. “Rugby has changed my life. The experiences I have encountered through rugby have helped strengthen my character and become more effective in everything I do,” said Dowgiewicz. Dowgiewicz played for Belmont Shore Youth Rugby and the Wilson High School Rugby Club. At Wilson, he helped lead the team to a reputation of being one of the best public high school programs in California.
In his senior season, he was recognized as the 2020 Wilson High School Outstanding Athlete of the Year for his performance and leadership on the pitch. Brett was also recognized as a USA High School All-American in 2019 and had the opportunity to play against Canada. He was selected as a participant for the Eagle Impact Rugby Academy in 2018 and 2019, and appeared in matches at the Orlando Tropical 7s, Las Vegas Invitational 7s, and North American Invitational 7s.
Brett got a taste of international play representing the North American Lions at the Dubai International 7s in 2019. Off the pitch, he is just as committed to his academic and extracurricular commitments. A 4.0 student, he was recognized as an Academic All Moore League athlete and inducted into the American Sign Language Honor Society. He was selected to participate in the prestigious West Point Summer Leadership experience in 2019, where he was challenged to develop his interpersonal skills, self-discipline, and organization as a future leader. He remained dedicated to fulfilling the role as a well-rounded student athlete participating on Wilson High School’s football and wrestling teams.
When he wasn’t on the pitch, field, or mat, he was an active participant in the Get on the Bus initiative, connecting children with their parents who are incarcerated. Brett is also a member of the Western Association of Referees, where he volunteers his time and efforts officiating various levels of rugby in Southern California. He credits his experience as a referee to enhancing his rugby IQ as a player. His extensive rugby career has led him to attend the University of California, Berkeley where he will play for the perennial powerhouse Bears. He looks forward to playing for the Bears and will strive to earn more All-American honors during his collegiate career. He ultimately dreams of representing his country on the world’s stage as a USA Eagle in the future. He would like to give back to the rugby community and continue the tradition of Belmont Shore Rugby and serve as a coach once his career allows.
For now, Brett will pursue a degree in economics from Cal and work towards a business career where he can also incorporate his passion for helping others. “By all accounts Brett is a promising young man. Cal is glad to have him,” said Jack Clark, Head Coach for Cal Varsity Rugby.