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2021-22 William V. Campbell Memorial Scholarship Recipient: Thomas Curran

February 22, 2022

Thomas Curran

Thomas Curran’s very first rugby game was a rude awakening, but one bloody nose and a lesson learned was all it took for him to find the confidence he didn’t even know he had. After getting run over, he was determined to improve his tackling skills and form. He sought out more experienced players on his team for help and began to see a change in not only his play, but in himself. He never looked back. “Confidence in oneself is vital not only during the game but off the pitch, as well. Without confidence, like the opposing player in my first game, life will simply run me over and leave me in the dust,” said Curran. He was first introduced to rugby in 2017, having played with the North Shore Trailblazers, a middle school club 7s team. Once he advanced to high school, Curran found himself on the varsity 15s side at fly-half for Malden Catholic High School. He also played with the North Shore Colts and Mystic River Rugby Club 7s teams. In 2019, he was named the captain of the junior varsity Mystic River squad and helped lead his team to a second-place finish in the Baystate junior varsity 7s tournament. In that same season, he earned MVP for the Beanpot junior varsity 7s tournament.

In 2021, Thomas was named the captain of the varsity Mystic River Rugby team and helped his team earn a first-place finish at the U-19 Baystate tournament for varsity 7s. “Tom was part of a big freshman class that was new to rugby, but eager to learn. In finding roles for the freshman, Tom impressed me by arriving early to each training, bringing a consistent effort every day, and showing a quick grasp of many of the concepts I was teaching. I knew that even though he was less developed physically, he was someone that I wanted on the field in important positions, because I could trust him to run the offense. Not only did he start every game that season, he ended up leading the team in minutes played as a freshman. Because of that, he was able to build a great rugby resume and his on-field IQ has grown tremendously,” said Phil Baker, Malden Catholic High School Varsity Rugby Head Coach.

Thomas graduated with honors from Malden Catholic High School in the spring of 2021. His academic merits speak for itself; he was a member of the National Honor Society, received advance placement scholar honor and distinction on two occasions, and earned National Spanish Exam gold and silver awards on four occasions. He was a three-year member of model bridge, model UN, and Spanish clubs. He served as vice president for both Spanish club and his high school’s National Honor Society chapter. Thomas was an active volunteer with the Mission of Deeds organization in Reading, Massachusetts, giving beds, furniture, and household items to people in need.

In addition to rugby, he was a four-year participant in cross country and indoor track and field, serving as team captain for both sports. When he wasn’t competing in athletics or participating in extracurriculars, he worked 12 hours a week at his local Shaw’s supermarket. His one-of-a-kind work ethic has earned him the opportunity to continue his academic and rugby pursuits at his dream school, the University of Notre Dame. While playing for the Fighting Irish, he is determined to uphold dean’s list honors during all four years of college. He has ambitions of pursuing law school upon completion of his undergraduate degree and is interested in practicing immigration law. As an athlete, he is dedicated to helping his team win and leaving the program better than he found it. “He shows up every day eager to learn and is willing to take risks. As a freshman, he led our JV team at flyhalf, which can be an intimidating role for any player considering the vocal requirements of the position in an attacking system. Thomas did so with great confidence and command, as he quickly grasped the system and was able to direct his teammates accurately and effectively. I’ve really enjoyed my time with Thomas so far and look forward to watching him develop and grow both on and off the field,” said Justin Hickey, University of Notre Dame Men’s Rugby Head Coach.