Mount Vernon News
 
 
  • Saul Meza, center, tosses the ball to a brand new recruit during a rugby scrimmage. Meza is the head coach of the Rugby Ranch Mud Boggers, a club that practices every Friday in Utica.
    Saul Meza, center, tosses the ball to a brand new recruit during a rugby scrimmage. Meza is the head coach of the Rugby Ranch Mud Boggers, a club that practices every Friday in Utica.
    Buy Photo Photo by Bill Davis Enlarge
  • June 18, 2011 7:24 am EDT

UTICA — A dozen men gather on a muddy field to chase a ballcarrier. The ballcarrier flips the oblong ball behind him. The man waiting drops the ball, kicks it with his toe, and the ball flies to the sideline, into the waiting arms of a child.

Everyone laughs.

It’s just another Friday evening at Utica’s soccer field. It’s the weekly practice for the Rugby Ranch Mud Boggers, a rugby team based in Utica.

Rugby is perceived as a rough sport played by big, burly men who are out to destroy one another. In reality, rugby is quite the opposite.

“We’re all friends,” said Saul Meza. “If you go out with the intention of hurting someone, you’re going to get hurt yourself. That doesn’t happen. This is grace under pressure.”

Meza, 42, is the club’s head coach. He is also a player and, when needed, a referee.

The Mud Boggers got started last year. Meza and assistant coach Dave Glenn met Mike Travis at a UFC event in Martinsburg. They noticed each was wearing a rugby jersey. They started talking, and decided to form a club in Utica.

“We started with mud bogs in my backyard,” Mesa said. “That’s where we got the name. We borrowed some players from Columbus to help us (spread the word).”

They started with three players in May 2010. Now there are 14 listed on their website, with more coming out every week.

 

Contact Bill Davis

EmailFacebookTwitter

Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Print
  • Discuss
  • Comments
  • Pin It

Advertisement

 

© Copyright 2013 Progressive Communications. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed, without the expressed permission of Progressive Communications. 740-397-5333  1-800-772-5333  Facebook  YouTube  Twitter   Google Currents