By: K..J. Wylie/GCU Staff
Producing winners on the field and in the classroom.
The Men’s Rugby program at Grand Canyon University has produced elite players over its four-year tenure, but demanding excellence on the field is not the only place a Lope athlete is expected to produce. Lopes Head Coach Cam Wyper stresses maintaining above-average grade point averages before anything else, and Lopes graduate Kyle Hammontree was obviously listening. Hammontree was named to the Collegiate Academic Honor Roll list for the 2017-18 season by USA Rugby.
In order to qualify for the prestigious honor a player needs to be at least a sophomore in academic standing, currently have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher and the recipient must have played on the A team for their school as a starter or reserve for at least half the season.
With over 200 players being recognized for their academic efforts, Hammontree, who played as a loosehead prop, is the sole representative from Grand Canyon University on the list. As a Government and Legal Studies Major, he earned a 4.0 GPA during the 2017-18 academic year, and graduated in April of 2018 with a cumulative 3.75 GPA.
Aside from being a full-time student and a major player on the team, Hammontree also found time to work a full-time job during his three-year tenure as a Lope. In order to find success doing all three, it was important for him to find any spare time he could.
“I worked from 5am to 1pm, had class from 1:30 to 4:30, and then practice from 5 to 7,” said Hammontree. “I would mostly find time to study after practice, but if there was any more (time) elsewhere-like while visiting the training staff getting my body taken care of-I would have a book right by me to read cases.”
Aside from having superb time management skills, Hammontree also noted how important it is to have a supporting cast by your side throughout the journey.
“Without my teammates, coaches, friends and family, I wouldn’t have anything,” Hammontree said. “They pushed me to go the extra mile when I thought or felt that I couldn’t.”
Since graduating, Hammontree now finds himself balancing a full-time position within GCU while also enrolled in a master’s program. Once officially done with school, he hopes to work in a courthouse alongside a lawyer in day-to-day case responsibilities. Until then, he plans to stay close to the rugby program that he credits putting him in line for his current success.