Bucknell Soccer Grad Ryan Sappington Receives Victory Scholarship to Study, Play in Ireland
July 25, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Following in the footsteps of former Bucknell basketball star Darryl Shazier, recent graduate and men's soccer standout Ryan Sappington has become the second Bison student-athlete in as many years to accept a Victory Scholarship to attend graduate school and continue playing in Ireland.
Sappington, a two-time Patriot League All-Academic Team honoree, will pursue his master's degree at the University of Limerick. At the same time, he will be involved with youth clinics and also continue his playing career in Ireland. Sappington is the first Patriot League soccer player to earn a Victory Scholarship.
The Patriot League entered into a partnership with the Sports Changes Lives Foundation in December of 2009 to facilitate opportunities for student-athletes to secure a Graduate Development International Scholarship. The partnership enables graduates from Patriot League institutions to apply for graduate school sport scholarships in a university in Ireland.
The Victory Scholarship Program assists deserving American students in obtaining a scholarship package to study at master's level in Ireland. While studying they also continue playing their sport at all levels, work in the wider community with young people gaining valuable life experiences that will help them develop on a personal and professional level.
"Bucknell University and the Patriot League both strive to promote the epitome of the student-athlete image, and, in doing so, they open doors to incredible opportunities following graduation," Sappington told the Patriot League. "I am nothing short of honored to be able to represent this school, this conference, and this country, in pursuing a master's degree at Limerick, while working with young soccer players in the community, and continuing to play the game I love. The past four years in Lewisburg could not have better prepared me for the journey ahead, and I am incredibly grateful to Coach [Brendan] Nash, the rest of the staff and administration at Bucknell, and those in the Patriot League, who helped make this possible."
Sappington was a key starter on Bucknell's 2009 and 2010 Patriot League championship teams, and he was once again a starter as a senior until being hobbled by a late-season injury. One of the team's most versatile players, Sappington played fullback, outside midfield and defensive midfield during his Bucknell career. He scored three career goals, including a game-winner last year against Saint Francis (Pa.).
Sappington was just as impressive in the classroom and in the community. He was a philosophy and psychology double-major with a 3.89 cumulative GPA. A Dean's List member every semester, Sappington was a member of Psi Chi international honor society for psychology. He was selected for the Bucknell University Student Leadership Institute, and he worked on two independent research projects in the Department of Psychology, the latest studying the effects of competition on academic integrity.
Sappington was a SAAC member, and he served on the Communications/Presentations team for Bicycles Against Poverty, a student-run organization that raises awareness and funds to purchase bicycles for internationally displaced persons in Gulu, Uganda and other villages. He was also a member of the Bucknell University Gender Issues Equity Committee, where he worked with the Department of Athletics in drafting its latest gender equity report.
A year ago, Shazier became the first Bucknell graduate to secure a Victory Scholarship. Shazier studied at the University of Ulster in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He made headlines with a 62-point game while representing Northern Ireland in the BUCS Home Nations Tournament.
Sappington joined Lafayette's Jim Mower and Sarah McGorry, both basketball players, as Patriot League Victory Scholarship recipients this year.