Thursday, September 19, 2013

Lone Star Roster: Day One

After a bracket plays out, two teams meet in the final and a championship is won, the next question is always, who will be hoisting the trophy next year. The quidditch community knew that dominant, World Cup VI Champions, Texas would be losing a lot of players. Rumors began to circle that these graduating UT players would join forces with graduating players from other regional schools to form a super team of experienced, talented and athletic stars. Lone Star QC became the favorite to win World Cup VII in the quidditch community, despite the roster of the Texas-based community team being uncertain. Throughout the summer, Lone Star had to be in the back of the minds of captains across the country. Even if the captains truly believed their team could beat every other team in the IQA, they couldn't make any assumptions about Lone Star before knowing their roster. The question became, how good is Lone Star going to be? How many All-Americans will they have? How many World Champions from UT? And boy, did we all want to have those questions answered. It was almost unfair to the Capitalists, the Massacre, the Lost Boys and Florida's Finest because every time roster news came out about them, the response was always, "Cool...Any news on Lone Star?"
Photo by Kat Ignatova/IQA Staff
Well, during the next four days, those questions will be answered. Lone Star QC's facebook page will be releasing five or six names daily. The public will soon know the complete roster of one of the most hyped teams ever to take pitch. As the season kicks off and fall regionals near, predictions for World Cup VII are going to finally be complete and without roster-guessing. Is Lone Star really number one? What about Baylor? Texas A&M? Can Texas defend their title? Which teams matchup well with Lone Star and have the ability to upset them? Over the next few days, the QuidKid will be answering those questions and providing quick analysis once the information is made public each day on Lone Star QC's facebook page. 

Day One
Lone Star QC released the names of five players that will join the team for the 2013-14 season today. Headlining today's list were captains, Kody Marshall, Chris Morris and Mollie Lensing. Although the three were commonly known to have a connection to the team, we now have the official word from the team. How will each player perform with Lone Star? What do they bring to the team?

Photo by Kat Ignatova/IQA Staff
Right away, Lone Star has a consensus first team All-American and World Champion on their team in Kody Marshall. Known for his outstanding stamina and tireless defense, the quidditch community knows how dangerous Marshall is. He can really do it all. Marshall covers so much ground on offense, on and off the ball. He is a nightmare to cover and I have never seen a team's defense really affect him. It is often forget that Kody Marshall is also a very good seeker. If seeker was his only position and he had fresh legs when the snitch returned to the pitch, Kody Marshall would be the best seeker in quidditch. Even after playing minutes at chaser, Marshall will still be a valuable asset at seeker. Sustaining an injury at THE Fantasy Tournament this summer, Marshall played the following week at Northeast Fantasy, although he clearly wasn't 100%. Injuries are a far greater threat to Marshall's success this year than any defender.

Photo by Kat Ignatova/IQA Staff
Former UT captain Chris Morris was there from the beginning at Texas and practiced, recruited and trained his way to the top. Now Morris will start from scratch captaining Lone Star. Morris is outstanding in transition offense and has a really accurate mid range shot. He is one of the best ball handlers in quidditch and his passes are always perfectly on the mark. While Morris prefers not to run through the defense like Kody Marshall, he is agile and has a wide variety of moves to get past defenders. In a half court offense, Morris is extremely valuable taking the ball down the wings. The defense collapses on him, but he is still able to find his teammates with bludgers flying at him and chasers wrapping him up. If I was choosing a single quidditch player to build a franchise around, Chris Morris would be in my top three because of his skill as a distributor and his leadership.

Photo by Kat Ignatova/IQA Staff

One of the best beaters in the Southwest during her time with Texas A&M, Mollie Lensing will captain Lone Star. With excellent pitch awareness and extensive knowledge of beater strategy, Lensing is the perfect all around beater. Frustrating offenses with her accurate, distance beats, the combination of Kody Marshall's chaser defense and Lensing's beating will be very tough for opposing point and perimeter players. To beat Baylor, Lensing and the rest of Lone Star's beating corps will need to hold bludger control, because Baylor's signature defense is nowhere near as effective with only one bludger. Also, in the minds of many, Baylor beater Brittany Ripperger took Lensing's spot as the best female beater in the nation in 2013. As Lensing looks to lead Lone Star QC and take that title back, the health of the former A&M star will be a major factor.

Photo by Brad Armentor
Lone Star QC also announced that Rice keeper Brian Stevens and Texas intramurals beater Jared Apilado will be joining the team. Stevens is very strong and is a classic power quaffle player. Playing with some of the best in the world, I think Stevens will improve a lot. Apilado obviously has experience playing against and with great players in the UT intramurals, but the level of intensity when LSQC plays teams like Baylor, A&M and UT will be new to him.

Marshall, Morris and Lensing provide the all important base of veteran leadership on and off the pitch. Some of have doubted that LSQC will have the drive to win another World Cup, but I just don't see how fierce competitors like these three aren't going to give 110% on the pitch. With that in mind, Lone Star QC is going to have a target on their back. It will almost be like they are defending a title. I think that will only motivate them more.

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