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How a Glimpse of Another World Fueled Wyatt Parry

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How a Glimpse of Another World Fueled Wyatt Parry

Coming at ya. Wyatt Parry for BYU, the 2024 Rudy Scholz Award-winner.

Wyatt Parry’s journey to being the Rudy Scholz Award-winner took a side trip a few years ago, and it was one that had a profound effect on him.

In the end he’s just a student-athlete and rugby player at BYU who was shocked to find out he’s won the accolade as the top men’s collegiate rugby player in the country.

“When Coach [Steve St. Pierre] called me I thought we were going to be discussing what the plan was for next season,” said the BYU flyhalf. “I had no idea it would be about the award. Knowing the competition out there for the Rudy Scholz Award it really took me by surprise. In the end, above all, I just felt really grateful.”

Parry grew up in St. George, Utah where he started playing rugby with the then-named Snow Canyon program in 7th grade.

He played U14s, U16s, and U18s for Snow Canyon (now named Tribal Rugby) and was lucky enough to have excellent coaches, including Jay Day and Michael Puriri, to teach him.

“They made me fall in love with the game,” said Parry. 

Parry was a standout in high school but college would have to wait. As a member of the LDS church (a Mormon), he would first go off on Mission, which usually lasts two years. Young LDS members on Mission do not get to choose where they go, and for Parry, his destination was southern Peru. No rugby, few workouts except a few pushups and situps when he had time. Maybe a little soccer with the local kids.

“We played against a bunch of 10-year-olds and we were completely out-matched,” Parry told GRR, laughing. 

This was where he learned something big.

“I had never experienced poverty, true poverty, until I went to Peru,” he said. “We lived with the people there. We lived in slums. I had never lived outside the US and it was very humbling for me.”

And what really struck him? The happiness around him.

“I saw so many truly happy people,” he said. “I learned that happiness is all about what you’re thinking about and enjoying what you have. Instead of thinking about how difficult everything is and what doesn’t make you happy, all of which makes you unhappy, you can focus on what you have. These people were happier than many of the people I knew in the US who had so much more. It changed may mindset.”

It changed his life.

Back in the USA, Parry also changed his rugby.

“I was pretty good in high school and I tended to think that I could do most of it myself,” Parry explained. “When I got to playing college rugby I learned real quick that you can’t do it all yourself. I learned quickly that I have so many great teammates and I can use them and work with them. That, I think, is what made me a better player.”

Wyatt Parry will officially receive his Rudy Scholz Award at a gala event at the Washington Athletic Club in Seattle on June 8.