Thursday, January 30, 2014

Big Names Join LSQC Roster

Sources close to the team have informed me that Craig Garrison, Chris Scholz, Jacob Wilson and Mathieu Gregorie attended Lone Star QC tryouts on Sunday and will be joining the team this spring. The news comes as LSQC, currently ranked #3 in the Coaches Poll, prepares for the first major Southwest tournament of the season, Diamond Cup at Texas State University. LSQC went 8-3 this fall, placing second in the Wolf Pack Classic and Lone Star Cup II, as well as first place at the unofficial Breakfast Taco Tournament. 

Photo by Sue Decker
Garrison, the former captain and star keeper of UTSA, has moved back to his hometown of Austin to make money for his senior year at UTSA and therefore is not eligible to play for UTSA's team this spring. Garrison has been linked with a move to LSQC since December and has practiced with the Austin branch of the Texan community team. "The decision to play with Lone Star became one question" Garrison said, "not play the sport that I'm passionate about for the first time in a year and a half, or play with the best players in the world and win a World Cup?"
Photo by Sue Decker
Freshman chaser Chris Scholtz, a former teammate of Garrison's at UTSA, is unsure of whether he'll be attending UTSA this spring due to personal reasons. Faced with uncertainty about whether he would be able to play with UTSA during the spring season, Scholtz saw an oppurtunity to join Lone Star QC and improve as a player. "The transfer now allows me to begin playing in an entirely new environment," Scholtz said. "Being a freshman on the team, I am clearly the baby of the team, which will only allow me to improve my game for the better by learning the best form, tactics, and great leadership."
Photo by Lauren Carter

Beater/seeker Jacob Wilson, who gained attention at THE Fantasy Tournament and during UTSA's rise this fall, will look to help out LSQC's beating corps. LSQC's male beaters have had trouble this fall and the additions of Wilson and Gregorie, both skilled beaters, could fix some issues. "I do not think that being able to join such an elite team such as LSQC is a chance everyone would be given and I had to take it," Wilson said. "I joined LSQC for one reason and that is to win the World Cup, and I believe we have the talent and experience to do just that."

Of course, the losses of three star players from the #10 team in the country raises major questions about that team's future. Despite major rumors floating around that UTSA might not field a team, they will be attending Diamond Cup and Southwest Regionals. Many have wondered whether there might be a leadership problem or conflict within UTSA, but the roster issues are actually centered around personal, health or academic reasons. "Most people would expect that [our transfers] had something to do with UTSA's quidditch team, that there was no chance of a team going to regionals from UTSA or maybe some sort of conflict internally, but that is not at all the case," Scholtz said. "They will have a good team that will be a strong competition for many teams, but sometimes you just get that feeling when you know something is right and it is the move you should make, and this was that feeling for me."

Leaving the team at UTSA was not easy either for these three players, especially veterans Garrison and Wilson, who agreed that the decision to leave UTSA's team was "very" difficult. "I know a lot of the players on UTSA very well, and we were more a family than friends," Garrison said. "Team members literally call me Uncle Craig. This is what a college team brings, growth quickly as friends and a team, both on and off the field."

Before their breakout performance at Breakfast Taco in 2013, UTSA endured a 2012-13 season with great highs and lows. From reaching the final in the first Bottom of the Bracket tournament and going to the semifinals in Mardi Gras Cup II, to overcoming an 0-3 record on the first day of regionals and qualifying for World Cup on day two, to an 0-4 performance at World Cup VI, UTSA had the same core group of players. "Losing all your games at World Cup was very hard for Roadrunner Quidditch," Garrison said, "but it brought UTSA together and hardened us. I'm very excited to play with LSQC and have a chance at the title, but would have rather gone to World Cup VII with UTSA."
Photo by Sue Decker
Finally, beater/chaser Mathieu Gregorie graduated from Texas A&M this December and will practice with the Austin branch of LSQC. Gregorie, a four and a half year veteran of the sport, will reunite with former A&M beating teammates Reed Duncan and possibly Mollie Lensing, who is abroad this spring season. Gregorie will be leaving the number one team in the nation behind, transferring to the team who A&M has beaten twice to earn that title. Current Texas A&M captain Drew Wasikowski said Gregorie will be "sorely missed." However, Texas A&M has prepared themselves for the mid-season loss of Gregorie since the beginning of the season. "This past semester, we basically had him chasing a majority of the time so as not to upset the flow of our beater crew halfway into the semester," Wasikowski said, "but he was still able to pass off a lot of his knowledge and experience before he left."
Photo by Lauren Carter
The QuidKid Says: These four additions to LSQC's roster change the national picture dramatically.  Before I heard the news of all four players' transfers, I was leaning towards writing an article saying that LSQC wouldn't make the World Cup VII finals, but I believe the additions put LSQC in a very good position come April. Back in September, I predicted an LSQC victory over Texas A&M in the World Cup VII finals. With these four additions, I feel confident sticking to that preseason prediction as we head into the second half of the quidditch year. LSQC's depth and motivation have been called into question this fall, but in the additions, the Texas community team gets a player who has waited more than four years for a championship, a duo of experienced UTSA players with unfinished business and an explosive, energetic young player eager to learn.

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