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USRF Accepting Applications for Kevin Higgins College Scholarships

May 7, 2012

San Diego, CA (May 7, 2012) – To honor one of the most prolific players to ever pull on a United States Eagles jersey, the United States Rugby Foundation is pleased to announce the fifth year of the Kevin Higgins College Scholarship Program. Last fall, the USRF awarded 10 $1,000 Kevin Higgins College Scholarships to deserving high school seniors who went on to play rugby in college, bringing the total number of Higgins Scholarships awarded to 31 since the program was created in 2008. This year, the USRF will once again provide up to 10 Higgins Scholarships. These independent scholarships are open to all graduating high school rugby players in the US who will be pursuing their rugby career while continuing their education at the collegiate level.A dashing number 13 who could play a rugged 12 and also outpace most on the wing, “Higgy” was a three-time Collegiate All-American at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. Kevin was still a student when he made the first of 28 test match appearances against Japan in 1985. He represented the United States at the first two Rugby World Cups, in 1987 (Australia) and 1991 (England), and captained the team three times, a testament to his overall skill and leadership. Kevin also earned 16 ‘caps’ with the USA 7s team, making three trips to the prestigious Hong Kong Sevens Tournament.Kevin’s skills were recognized internationally. He was selected to play for the Barbarians, an international all-star team, on their annual Easter Tour. Higgy was also selected for the Teljoy World XV, teaming with the likes of Alan and Gary Whetton, Grant Fox, Bernie Fraser, Stan Pilecki, Buck Shelford and fellow American, Mike Purcell. On the domestic scene, Kevin helped OMBAC to three national club championships.Kevin touched the lives of his teammates, friends and opponents in so many ways, that he was as cherished off the field as he was on. Those who had the honor of playing alongside him, against him, touring with him and working with him still smile as classic Higgy stories are shared. He lifted the spirits and work ethic of every squad he joined. He played with a passion second to none. Such zest for the game sadly led to frequent concussions, prematurely ending his playing career and perhaps contributing to his untimely passing in 1996.“The Rugby Foundation is proud to keep Higgy’s legacy alive through the Higgins Scholarship Program,” said USRFF Executive Director Brian Vizard, a former teammate of Higgins. “We have received nearly 100 applications from worthy candidates in the first four years of the program and expect another strong list of candidates this year. We hope we’ll continue to receive financial support for the Higgins Scholarship Fund from those who knew and loved Kevin and from the rugby community at large who admired his commitment and contributions to the game.”Read more about the 2011 Kevin Higgins’ College Scholarship recipients: Ben Mancuso, Race Noeldner, Hope Rogers, Zach Thorum, Matt Chipman, Kaisee Wiesmeuller, Rob Mabry, Chris Dempster, Talia Carrasquillo, Chris Mattina.Apply for a 2012 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship.Applications must be postmarked by July 31, 2012.Donate to the Higgins Fund – Become a member of the Higgy HundredAs a means to increasing the number of annual scholarships, the Foundation has established “The Higgy Hundred” to both further honor Kevin and to nurture our country’s rugby future. Our goal is to endow the Fund so that at least 10 scholarships are given out annually. You can join “The Higgy Hundred” by contributing just $100 to the Kevin Higgins College Scholarship Fund. A gift of at least $250 puts you in “Higgy’s Captain’s Club”.By becoming a member of either The Higgy Hundred or Higgy’s Captain’s Club, you will receive a Higgy Hundred t-shirt. Higgy’s Captain’s Club members will also receive a Higgy Hundred visor. Please don’t delay. Act now, be a winner, and join Higgy’s team once again.