2022-23 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship Program Recipient: Seth Catchpole
Born to parents native of New Zealand, rugby is in Seth Catchpole’s DNA.
Catchpole’s rugby career began at age seven, playing for the Phoenix Firebirds Youth Rugby Club. He played for the Firebirds for 11 years and served as team captain on both the club and travel team levels and earned recognition to the Arizona Bobcats and Rhinos Academy select sides. He also earned MVP honors all four years of his high school career. Some of his career highlights include, two USA Fit Touch National Championship titles, a Roadrunner Rugby 7s U16 Championship, an Arizona State Championship High School title, participation in Eagle Impact Rugby Academy Winter Camp, and a Rhino Academy Tour Tropical 7s U18 Championship.
“He made my life as a coach easy. He was captain of his age group teams since U10 all the way through high school and was well liked and well respected by his peers. Even as a freshman on my high school team he was confident of his role and what he could contribute and immediately had the respect of the seniors. Seth's rugby career is a living example of ‘putting in the work.’ Since an early age he decided he wanted to see how far he could go with rugby, and he has done the work,” said Rob Speers, Phoenix Firebirds Youth Rugby Club Founder, President, and High School Boys Head Coach.
Seth graduated from Chaparral High School in Scottdale, Arizona in the spring of 2022 with a 3.76 GPA. He was a member of the Chaparral High School football team, earning a state championship at the junior varsity level. He has been an active member and worshipper of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church since 2003 and frequently volunteers in community events. When he’s not on the pitch, he’s on the sidelines volunteering his time as a youth coach and referee for the Phoenix Firebirds Youth Rugby Club.
He will continue to play rugby for the University of Arizona while studying to earn a biology degree with career aspirations of attending medical school and becoming an emergency room doctor. His rugby goals include earning a starting spot for the Wildcats and advancing his play in the MLR.
“Seth is a fantastic young man. He's learning a brand-new attack pattern and seeks feedback and coaching not just from me and my staff but the older boys which is great. Seth is quiet, but very low maintenance, a good teammate, and he is a great piece of our future. We don't have many local guys so it's good for him to be doing well in front of friends and family,” said University of Arizona Director of Rugby, Sean Duffy.