San Diego, CA (December 10, 2016) – 2016 Terry O’Reilly Memorial Scholarship recipient Owen Duvall has not always characterized himself as a typical athlete. Duvall began his competitive athletics career in a local Pop Warner Football league and struggled from the beginning; from barely making the league’s maximum bodyweight, finishing second to last in all fitness sessions, and limited playing time due to inexperience. Owen, now a two-time High School All-American selection, discovered rugby following his first season of contact football and the rest is history!
Duvall began his rugby career with the Coastal Dragons Youth Rugby Football Club in Encinitas, California. He tapped into his true athletic potential and developed his rugby skills from U12 to U18 with the Dragons, serving as captain in 2015 and vice captain in 2016. In his freshman year at Cathedral Catholic High School, Owen earned a spot on the Dons’ starting side and assisted his team to a Southern California High School Championship title. In the 2015-2016 season Owen served as team captain for Cathedral Catholic.
“Owen is a quiet and intelligent young man who lets his play on the rugby field do the talking. He is a very strong member of the Cathedral pack and only leads by example from the moment practice starts until it ends from the first whistle of any game until the final whistle,” said Glenn Irvine, Cathedral Catholic High School head rugby coach.
Duvall’s most notable honors include being a named a two time High School All-American selection in 2015 and 2016. As a High School All-American he got the opportunity to play against France and Belgium in the U17 division and British Columbia in the U18 division. One day, Duvall aspires to represent the USA and potentially earn an overseas contract with a European club, but for now Duvall is on his way to play for the collegiate rugby powerhouse, California Golden Bears.
His passion for rugby does not go unnoticed. Owen attributes rugby to turning his life around and broadening his horizons in ways unimaginable. “In my life today, I live and breathe rugby. It has had such a heavy influence on these past several years of my life that I know I would not be the same without it. I have rugby to thank for the person I am today and for turning an unfit little kid into a competitive athlete,” said Duvall.
In addition to rugby, Owen was a member of the Cathedral Catholic High School football team for four seasons. During his freshman year, he volunteered at St. John School as a math tutor for sixth grade students and helped coach for the Coastal Dragons U10 team. Owen spent weekends volunteering at Scripps Memorial Hospital helping with general office aid during his sophomore year. In his junior year he became involved with Cure JM Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on finding a cure for the rare and life threatening autoimmune disease known as Juvenile Myositis. Owen helped fundraise and collect prizes for the Cure JM fundraiser auction. During his junior and senior years he was a member of his school Campus Ministry program.
In the classroom, Owen graduated from Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego, California with a 4.2-weighted GPA (3.82 un-weighted). He is a member of the National Honor Society. Owen will continue to pursue his athletic and academic excellence at the University of California, Berkeley this fall, where he intends to earn a technical/business degree. His career goals include operating his own manufacturing company or working for a technical company, but he ultimately aspires to play professional rugby and earn an overseas contract.
“Owen works diligently in training and is a good teammate,” said his Cal head coach, Jack Clark. While Bears’ Associate Head Coach Tom Billups added, “Owen has put in a lot of hard work and has made some notable progress in his strength and conditioning, and through that, has improved his body composition.”
Congratulations Owen, on being selected as the first recipient of the Terry O’Reilly Scholarship.