2022-23 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship Program Recipient: Caden Crist
According to Caden Crist, “While being physically fit and mentally tough is important in playing, rugby is a game of quick decision making under high pressure situations.” As they say, pressure makes diamonds and Crist’s rugby resume is certainly shining. He played for the San Diego Mustangs, Torrey Pines High School Falcon Rugby, and La Jolla High School Rugby teams. His accolades include a Tier-II National Championship, countless matches with the Eagle Impact Rugby Academy, and most recently captaining the USA U18 All-Americans in Amsterdam.
“Cade is an exemplary player. He recently captained the high school All Americans in Europe. He played every minute of every Varsity and Club A side game during a grueling five-month high school and club season. He was named man of the match by his opposition after most of our games.
Cade is an outstanding leader. When naming our captain before the season, there wasn't much discussion of anyone other than Cade. He's the first to get to every training and game, dresses out early, assists in the micro coaching of newer players by demonstrating the skill, and helps schlep gear before and after each session. He's only vocal when need be, and is the epitome of ‘well done is better than well said.’ Despite being fiercely competitive, he demonstrates and expects respect and dignity from himself and his teammates, in victory or defeat. He is a supreme sportsman on all fronts, and if we had more Cades, our country would be a Tier 1 rugby nation sooner than later,” said Matty Sandoval, Torrey Pines High School Varsity Rugby Head Coach.
Crist graduated from Torrey Pines High School in the spring of 2022 with a 3.79 GPA. He was an active member of the organization, Teen Volunteers in Action, for the past six years. With Teen Volunteers in Action, he completed numerous volunteer experiences across San Diego County ranging from delivering breakfast burritos to the homeless, to cleaning and restoring the U.S.S. Midway, a decommissioned aircraft carrier.
He will pursue a degree in economics and environmental policy from the University of California, Berkeley while playing for the Bears. He aspires to become a leader in navigating urban planning in relation to financing and environmental issues in the present day. He will also participate in Cal’s Student-Athlete Business Network, which connects younger student-athletes to different career and networking opportunities. He is looking forward to embracing the student-athlete role and participating in philanthropic events in the Berkeley community. His collegiate rugby goals include, winning a national championship and earning the opportunity to be named to the United States U20 and U23 age-grade teams. He dreams of representing the Eagles in the future and pursuing a career at the highest level. At the conclusion of his playing career, he would like to serve as a youth coach for his home club in the future.
“We believe Cade has strong potential. As a front row player, he has a longer maturation, but all indication markers are tracking. This fall, Cade was in our fifteens squad and made good progress in his skill acquisition and strength development. Cade is a high character individual with a strong work ethic,” said Cal Varsity Rugby Head Coach, Jack Clark.