2022-23 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship Program Recipient: James Sullivan
James Sullivan was introduced to rugby by his father, a former rugger himself, and instantly fell in love with the game. “It combined all the things that I loved in the other sports all in one game. The feeling that rugby gave me was different than the other sports. I love competition. I love to win. I love to learn. But I also love the comradery that you get in rugby. There was a family feeling, a feeling that really made you feel good and encouraged you to work harder,” said James.
Sullivan played for Amoskeag Rugby Club in Manchester, New Hampshire. He also competed for the Eagle Impact Rugby Academy, participating in three winter camps, player development clinics, a tour to Ontario, Canada in 2019, and the EIRA Championships in July of 2021. In 2020, he was also selected to play for the New England Free Jacks Academy.
“Jimmy is one of the hardest working student athletes that we have on the rugby team. He never takes a day off. He leads by example. Jimmy is relentless as a player, always willing to do the “hard work” on the pitch. He wants to be on the pitch at all times. He has worked hard since last season on his strength and quickness. Jimmy has taken his natural talent to the next level through hard work and a tremendous desire to excel. Rugby is truly his passion,” said Amoskeag U19 Rugby Head Coach, John Banarhall.
He graduated from Manchester Memorial High School with a 3.3 GPA in the spring of 2022. In addition to rugby, James was a member of his high school soccer team, playing defense and serving as team captain. He also competed in lacrosse and skiing. When he wasn’t competing, he shared his love for sports by working as a soccer referee and a ski instructor. He was a member of the Athletic Leadership Council at Memorial High School and participated in numerous community service projects for the American Legion.
Sullivan will study criminal justice at Mount St. Mary’s University while playing for the rugby team. He is inspired to pursue a career where he can protect and serve his community. He is an advocate for mental health awareness and is committed to educating others on available resources and how to ask for help. While playing for Mount St. Mary’s, James has his sights set on developing his rugby IQ and becoming the best athlete and teammate possible. He looks forward to helping Mount St. Mary’s earn a national championship title. He would love to continue playing after college and help grow the sport by becoming involved with a youth rugby program.
“Jimmy has been an amazing fit into the Mount Rugby team! He is unfortunately still recovering from a knee tear he got late last spring and has not been able to fully participate in rugby. However, he is always active and attentive at every classroom, weight room and field session as he works hard towards being fully recovered! He has fit in beautifully with his teammates and has immediately made a tight friend group. He is an excellent young man who takes his classwork seriously as well and we are excited to get him back on the pitch,” said Jay Myles, Mount St. Mary’s University Men’s Rugby Head Coach.