Growing up in a house with two younger sisters, Mark Blum always wanted a brother. Luckily for him, the sport of rugby offered him a brotherhood that would impact his life forever. Blum started his rugby career when he was invited to a rugby practice by a childhood friend. He knew he had found the sport that would offer him a different experience. 

In just three short seasons with St. Edward High School, his rugby career is marked with honors such as Most Improved Player and Most Valuable Player awards, a captain’s nod, and an invitation to play with the Eagle Impact Rugby Academy on their tour to Argentina. 

“His commitment and dedication to the sport of rugby is exciting because he is a great representative of the game and is someone who will continue to grow the game as time goes on. He is a passionate leader that views the game as an opportunity to include anyone who wants to be a part of something special,” said Andrew Martin, St. Edward High School Head Rugby Coach. 

Mark graduated from St. Edward High School with a 3.8 GPA and served his community in multiple capacities. He selflessly volunteered on multiple occasions, making blankets and sandwiches for the less fortunate, serving at a food kitchen, and served as an alter server at his parish.  

Blum will further his academic and athletic career at St. Bonaventure University. He intends on pursuing a profession in the sports management industry. He would like to help others enjoy the impact of sports as much as he has personally experienced. His passion for competition and love for the game is what has made him stand out in his new role with the St. Bonaventure University Men’s Rugby team. 

“Blum embodies how athletes should carry themselves on and off the pitch. In fact, his character may be unmatched in the whole program. He demonstrates character traits such as confidence, generosity, integrity, loyalty, kindness, discipline, patience, determination, passion, adaptability, humbleness, and respect. His commitment to the sport of rugby is hard to compare or in my opinion, once again, unmatched,” said Wes Mollo, St. Bonaventure University Men’s Rugby Program graduate assistant. 

Ultimately, Blum would like to continue to work hard toward becoming the best player he can be both on and off the field. His goal is to not only improve personally, but also encourage his peers to grow and develop at the same time. 

“Many will say winning at the highest level is their goal and of course I want to win, but the real prize is the journey and being able to push myself and others around me to be great,” said Blum.