TUSCON, Ariz. – Arizona Rugby is thrilled to announce that they have selected their captains for the upcoming year, with lock/number eight Cesar Davila ’16 named Team Captain and flyhalf Kyle Rogers ’17 named Vice Captain.
Head Coach Sean Duffy pointed to the leadership qualities that both bring to the table when speaking on their selections, and pointed to a strong group of returners that are also leaders in many respects on the roster. “Cesar and Kyle are great selections for these roles due to their work ethic and their ability to push and pull others in the right direction when needed. It was a tough selection as there were a number of great candidates, and that’s a good testament to our team culture that so many guys are stepping up as leaders,” said Duffy.
For Davila, this is the latest accomplishment in a decorated year for the 6’4″ 225 pound forward, as he was named Forward of the Year by the coaches following this past season. Davila led the team in tackles (83) and finished second in rucks hit (181) before playing a key role in the Wildcats’ run to the Cup Semifinal in the Collegiate Rugby Championships. Davila’s key try against two-time champion Dartmouth helped kickstart the Arizona attack in the 24-0 victory that clinched their pool. Davila was honored to be selected, and pointed to previous captains Trevor Laue ’14 and Jack Arnold ’15 as great examples to follow in this role. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be deemed good enough to captain this team, considering the talent and character of my teammates. I’ve had the opportunity to learn from two captains in my time here and I feel that each added a certain fearlessness and demeanor that I can only hope to replicate,” said Davila.
Kyle Rogers’ selection as Vice-Captain is a deserved one for his accomplishments in both 15s and sevens, and his growing leadership qualities were on display in the last year. Despite only being a sophomore, Rogers excelled at both scrumhalf and flyhalf, leading the team in try assists (7) and growing in to the goalkicking role as the year progressed. For the 2015-16 season, Rogers will likely shift to flyhalf as the coaching staff looks to expand his role, possibly even moving him to other spots in the backline. In sevens, Rogers was a linchpin for the Wildcats, emerging as a regular starter and key contributor. “I was honored to accept this position for the season,” said Rogers. “We have a great group of guys who have been playing together for a few years now and I’m excited to see where this season takes us.”
Also included in the leadership team is prop Josh Riedell ’16, who was elected Team President and will help the coaching staff oversee the day-to-day operations of the program.
The three standouts will hope to lead a Wildcats team that has welcomed over 50 student-athletes this year, with a 30-player recruiting class joined by a fantastic group of walk-ons, more than doubling the roster size.
The Wildcats opened the year with the West Coast Sevens this past weekend, making another run to the Cup Semifinals and finishing third in the tournament with Davila and Rogers both featuring in the effort. Both players will be off this weekend as Arizona opens their slate of Fall Fifteens matches against Arizona State this coming Saturday in Tempe.