Fast, skilled and team-oriented is how Armando Arevalo describes the game of rugby.
“The best part is definitely the culture of the sport itself,” Arevalo said. “You play 80 hard minutes of tackling each other and getting bloody noses, but at the end of the day you have these teammates that are like brothers to you.”
Armando Arevalo (Courtesy of Fresno State Men’s Rugby Club)
Arevalo is a second-year student who plans to declare political science as his major. He is a member of Chi Delta Beta, a multicultural fraternity. And he loves rugby.
He joined the rugby team last year after speaking with team members at their recruitment table and jumped in right away.
“I’ve never been part of a contact sport like rugby, so my first impression was that it was an insane and tough sport,” Arevalo said.
He wrestled for two years in high school and played water polo, but had never experienced running full speed after someone to catch up and tackle them before they have a chance to score.
“Practices were tiring, but I enjoyed it, and I still enjoy it now,” Arevalo said.
In rugby, there are two rows of seven or eight players from each team. The front row is responsible for making the big hits and passing the ball to the back row, whose members make the longer passes and run the ball. Arevalo’s spot is in the back as a wing.
“I’m the last man on the outside, and no matter where you’re positioned it’s a thrilling game for everyone,” Arevalo said.
Arevalo said it’s easy to get nervous at first during a game, but the key is to turn that nervousness into confidence and desire to want to go out and want to make the big plays and perform the best that you can.
Jay Miranda, one of Arevalo’s teammates and a member of Chi Delta Beta as well, said he knows this is a different kind of sport for Arevalo but he is proud that he is out there trying.
“He’s relentless when he’s out there, and he really puts in a lot of effort,” Miranda said.
Also cheering him on this season is Arevalo’s older brother, Fernando Arevalo. Fernando is a fourth-year criminology student who said his brother’s involvement on the team is a good thing because rugby is such a unique sport.
“My main hope is for him to have fun and enjoy the season,” Fernando said.
Arevalo said he is looking forward to improving with each game this season and making memories with good friends.
The team will have a home game on Feb. 4 against the University of Nevada, Reno, on the kinesiology field behind the tennis courts.