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Leo's Gavin James picks Kentucky rugby

February 25, 2020

Leo High School senior Gavin James has decided to pursue college rugby, signing his national letter of intent with the University of Kentucky.

James chose rugby over playing college football, saying his visits with UK coaches and his interaction with future  teammates solidified his decision.

"It was tough decision for me, because I've always wanted to play college rugby and college football," James tells ParkviewSportsMedicine.com. "I feel like I made the right decision, in the end; and I'm excited to go to Kentucky."

Kentucky is a USA Rugby Division 1AA program that competes in the Southeastern College Rugby Conference, mostly made of traditional NCAA Southeastern Conference schools as well as Memphis, Middle Tennessee State and Kennesaw State.

James says he will continue to play the No. 12 and No. 13 center positions in rugby, as he did at Leo. The Lions won back-to-back Rugby Indiana Division 1 state championships in 2018 and 2019.

"The exposure I got from winning the state championships 2 years in a row has put Leo on a bigger scale. A lot more coaches have come and watch us play," he adds.

James was joined by family and coaches during a signing ceremony February 25 at SportONE/Parkview Fieldhouse. 

"I've had the best support system possible with my coaches and friends and family. Everyone's been supportive and helped me through this process."

James also played both ways for the Leo Lions football. An All-Northeast 8 Conference linebacker, he tallied 63.5 tackles, 1 sack and 3 interceptions as a senior. He had one rushing touchdown and one receiving touchdown on the offensive side of the ball, too.

He plans to study business at the University of Kentucky.

Leo is one of 26 high schools that partners with Parkview Sports Medicine for athletic training, nutrition, sports performance, athletic rehab and other sports medicine services for Lion student-athletes. Learn more at www.parkviewsportsmedicine.com.

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