There’s no such thing as fair weather ruggers. In a sport with a regular season that appears in the drab and dreary winter months, it is the sturdy soul that dons his kit and braves the elements for a few hours each week, only to return from practice a soggy and stinking mess. It is even rarer still the player to name this as the high point of his season. However, for UC Davis center and this edition’s Player of the Month, Ari Wargon, standing in the middle of Aggie Stadium with the sweat and rain stinging his eyes as the lightening crackled overhead was an opportunity to prove to the coaches and his teammates the true extent of his commitment to the team.
See below to hear the full remarks of the current Club Treasurer on his introduction to the sport, experiences with the club to date, and his hopes for the future.
Full Name (and any nicknames): Ari Wargon
Weight: 185 lbs
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Scotts Valley, CA
Why did you choose Rugby?
During the summer going into my Junior year, I was in Davis taking summer classes. Some of my buddies were on the rugby team and told me to come out to a couple practices. They eventually got me to come to a friendly 7’s tournament in Dixon. I was immediately hooked.
What have you liked about UCD Rugby specifically?
All my life I have played sports, and the brief time in college I wasn’t associated with any team I knew I was lacking some-thing in my life. Rugby has been that sport that satisfies my competitive personality. It allows me to take a step back from whatever kind of day I’m having and just focus on improving my skills and work towards a collective goal. On top of that the people I have met throughout my rugby career have grown to be some of my best friends and I couldn’t imagine my college experience without them.
Most Memorable moment of last season?
My most memorable moment from last season would have to be one of our winter practices in Aggie stadium. During this practice Davis erupted into one of the most violent storms I had seen while living there. I remember standing at one end of the field trying to keep my balance as the rain fell sideways across the stadium. We practiced in those conditions all night. Leaving that practice shivering, knowing that each player was committed enough to push through the torrential downfall was a great feeling.
Advice to someone considering playing rugby but still on the fence (How could you sell rugby to a beginner?):
If you are at all interested in playing rugby, I would tell you there is no harm in trying. I think our team is a really inclusive group of guys and we encourage people to come out to practice and just get a feel for the game. If you find out that it’s not right for you, no hard feelings. If you realize rugby is what you were missing in your life, we will be excited for you to join us on our journey!
What do you imagine/would like your relationship with the club to be after you graduate?
I would love to be up to date on team progress and come to games whenever I can. I am unsure where I will be in the up-coming years, but if the team is playing near me I’m sure I will be at those games.
A special thank you to Mr. Wargon for taking the time to convey his thoughts on the team and best of luck to all Aggies in the upcoming season. If you are interested in learning more about how you can nominate current players for Player of the Month, feel free to reach out directly to the UC Davis Men’s Rugby Alumni Association. Go Aggies!