Braden Bringhurst, a senior at Snow Canyon High School, is usually the first one to school and the last one to leave.
On top of his AP classes, church activities, and SBO responsibilities, Bringhurst is also a star on the Warriors’ rugby team.
“I never thought I’d be playing rugby,” Bringhurst admitted. “I grew up playing basketball, but I’m glad I made the switch because it’s been a blast the past two seasons.”
Bringhurst wasn’t a fan of major contact sports, but after years of suggestions from Dylan “bowling ball” Parry, he decided to try it out and has been playing ever since.
“My brother played rugby, which helped sway me a bit, and the fact that Dylan is a pretty good salesman, too,” Bringhurst said. “When I showed up for my first day, Coach (Jay) Day came up to me and was so enthusiastic and happy to see me. He remembered my brother and was going around and telling everyone that another one of the Bringhurst’s was on the team. I felt so included and it’s been one of the best decisions of my life.”
Arguably, the toughest decision Bringhurst has faced to date was what took place leading up to the state championship game against Herriman, where Snow Canyon looked to win its third consecutive state title.
The team policy heading into the tournament was that all scheduled starters couldn’t miss practice if they wanted to start.
So when Bringhurst didn’t show up at the start of practice last week, Snow Canyon co-head coach Jay Day picked up the phone to see what was up.
“Braden was scheduled to start, and when he didn’t show up I called to see what was going on,” Day said. “Braden told me that he was helping his mom with an honors event to thank his council members for all of their support throughout the year and that he wouldn’t be able to make it in time for practice.”
“My mom was in charge of the event and she asked me to help out. I knew if I stayed to set everything up that I wouldn’t start in the (championship) game, but I wanted to respect my mom’s wishes,” Bringhurst said.
Because he’s a man of his word, his teammates know that they can always count on him.
“We respect him for that,” senior Joe Servati said of Bringhurst’s decision to help his mom over starting in the championship game. “He’s done a lot for this team already and for the entire school. He’s always going around and helping everyone and he has definitely earned that respect.”
With a jam-packed schedule, Bringhurst has tried a number of things to try and stay on top of it all.
“I’ve had some sleepless nights knowing there was so much to do. I’ve used planners, sticky notes, calendars, etc., just so I wouldn’t miss anything. It’s really been intense,” Bringhurst said of managing his time. “There are days when I’m just not able to make it to practice. But that’s what I love about rugby and the coaches. They understand that there is more to life than just sports.”
One of his favorite things as the student body president has been going around and serving his classmates.
Before one of the swim meets this year, Bringhurst and his council members stopped by to deliver some goodies to the swim team.
“They were impressed that we stopped by,” Bringhurst said of the swim team. “One girl came up and told us how grateful she was for the recognition because swimming doesn’t usually get recognized.”
That service has gone a long way in uniting the school into a real Warrior family.
“It’s just fun to do and we just wanted to let everyone know that they are appreciated and that we notice them,” he added.
Snow Canyon’s rugby team sure has appreciated his help as Bringhurst helped lead the Warriors to the 2015 rugby state title in a 16-15 dramatic last-second victory over Herriman.
“As the horn sounded, I didn’t know what to do,” he recalled. “I was just in shock that we’d won and I just starting running around.
Running around has become second nature for the senior who his teammates call the “Honey Badger.”
“There is a guy (Nick Cummins) who plays on the Australian nation team as he’s the Honey Badger,” Day said. “He has curly hair and wears a headband and when Braden showed up last year he was sporting the exact same look. So we’ve started calling him the “The Honey Badger” and the name has stuck ever since.”
Bringhurst, who sports a 4.0 grade point average, wasn’t nominated for Academic All-State because Rugby isn’t a sanctioned high school sport.
But for Bringhurst, those individual awards don’t matter.
“Awards, are just awards, but memories with my teammates and classmates will last a lifetime,” he said.