Thursday, April 30, 2015

World Cup VIII Portfolio

Hi Everyone!
Below I've posted everything I wrote during the weekend of World Cup VIII. All articles originally appeared on I think of my blog as my personal writing portfolio and I wanted to make sure my World Cup VIII writing ended up here.

I can't publish these articles on my blog without thanking the Quidditch Media Coalition. For the weekend of World Cup VIII, the Eighth Man and the Quidditch Post joined together under my guidance. It wasn't always the happiest coalition, but we pulled through and produced up-to-the-minute content. I couldn't have done it without Andy Marmer and Lindsey Garten, who supervised the operation off-site and helped copy edit for hours and hours. Perhaps my favorite part was working with our 30 writers, who sacrificed personal time at the World Cup to report on games. I am proud of each and every writer. To check out other writers' articles from World Cup VIII, go to It was also a blast (and a huge help) working with everyone in the communications tent, especially Michael Mason, Meaghan Prenda and Crystal Hutcheson.

World Cup VIII Championship: University of Texas vs. Lone Star Quidditch Club
World Cup VIII Semifinal: Lone Star Quidditch Club vs. University of Maryland
World Cup VIII Semifinal: University of Texas vs. Lost Boys Quidditch Club
World Cup VIII Quarterfinal: Lone Star Quidditch Club vs. Texas State University
World Cup VIII Pool Play: The Warriors vs. Capital Madness
World Cup VIII Pool Play: University of Michigan vs. Ball State University
World Cup VIII Pool Play: Texas State University vs. Lost Boys Quidditch Club

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Dynasty: Texas Takes Home Its Third World Cup Title

Originally appeared on on April 12, 2015. (

Capping off World Cup 8 with an intense, back-and-forth championship game, the University of Texas at Austin defeated Lone Star Quidditch Club to earn its third consecutive World Cup title. Texas seeker Evan Carr caught the snitch, securing a 120*-90 victory.

At the beginning, Lone Star chaser Christopher Scholz jump started the scoring with an outstanding individual effort on brooms up and a runaway fast break goal. Facing an early 20-point deficit, Texas regrouped and stared down the organized and fearsome Lone Star defense. After getting on the scoreboard, Texas chaser Marty Bermudez split the defense and swooped in to tie the score at 20-20.

A series of stoppages slowed Texas’ momentum and Lone Star firmly controlled the next portion of the game. While Lone Star attacked the hoops, Texas suffered a couple costly defensive lapses and settled for poor shots on offense. With athleticism and controlled aggression, Lone Star posed serious questions for the two-time defending champions. However, Texas found an answer in veteran keeper Augustine Monroe. Monroe notched three consecutive goals, shaking tackles, slotting mid-range shots and spinning toward the goal. On defense, Monroe denied a series of Lone Star shots and directed the defense. When the dust cleared, Monroe had suddenly lifted Texas to a 60-50 lead.

Drew Wasikowski and Becca DuPont, two former Texas A&M University stars, responded for Lone Star, using speed and determination to stay in snitch range. With defensive recoveries and interceptions, Wasikowski and DuPont temporarily held Texas’ clicking offense back. Again, Monroe rallied the Longhorns and found chasers Audrey Wright and Kaci Erwin for two more Texas goals.

As the snitch trotted onto the pitch, attention shifted to the beaters and seekers. While seekers took turns grappling with the snitch, Texas beater Michael Duquette battled a furious effort from Lone Star beaters Sean Fry and Mollie Lensing. Catching bludgers and limiting chances for Lone Star’s seekers, Duquette gave Texas’ seekers terrific openings. Finally, after several near snitch catches, Texas seeker Evan Carr came through, triumphantly hoisting the snitchsock before the referees confirmed the catch.

Texas finishes 9-0 at World Cup 8 as the three-time defending champions.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Lone Star Tops Maryland to Advance to Final Against Texas

Originally appeared on on April 12, 2015. (

Heavily favored Lone Star Quidditch Club convincingly denied the upset hopes of Maryland Quidditch 120-50*. Lone Star’s blowout win set up a much anticipated matchup with the University of Texas at Austin in the finals of World Cup 8.

Jumping out to a 60-0 lead, Lone Star’s athletic keepers, Drew Wasikowski and Stephen Bell, benefitted from fast-paced gameplay and sailed through Maryland’s defense. With Lone Star’s beaters tearing apart Maryland’s beater defense, Maryland found no answer for the unselfish passing and adept shooting of Wasikowski and Bell. However, the story of the game was Lone Star’s stellar hoop defense. While Maryland created viable chances for goals, each tipped and blocked shot further deflated the Mid-Atlantic Regional Champions. Every shot was contested by a committee of Lone Star chasers and keepers, who swarmed the hoops and lunged at shooters. When a window opened, Maryland repeatedly failed to convert, barely missing short-range shots.

As Lone Star kept the foot on the gas and poured on the goals, Maryland’s offense deteriorated, unleashing wild shots and low-percentage passes. Lone Star refused to let up on defense with aggressive tackling and flawless positioning. As the snitch came on pitch, Maryland seeker Brenden Hutton quickly went for the suicide snitch catch and ended the blowout at 120-50*.

An all-Texas finals awaits Lone Star QC.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Texas Advances to Final Against Lone Star

Originally appeared on on April 12, 2015. (

After overcoming a multitude of injuries and playing a marathon quarterfinal against Arizona Quidditch Club, the Lost Boys were dispatched by the mighty two-time defending champions the University of Texas at Austin, 180*-30.

From the beginning, Texas’ offense proved ruthlessly efficient, rolling out line after line of aggressive and confident chasers. The Lost Boys relied almost exclusively on a two-male beater set of Peter Lee and Chris Seto for defense. Undersized and exhausted, the Lost Boys’ chaser defense never truly had a chance. For perhaps a moment, the Lost Boys appeared to be in contention. Lee and Seto secured bludger control, and Browne hit a mid-range shot, bringing the score to 30-10 Texas. However, despite overwhelming crowd support, the Lost Boys could not stop a dominant shift from veteran Texas keeper Augustine Monroe, which brought the score to 70-20. Around the same time, Texas beater Michael Duquette applied heavy pressure on the Lost Boys, who eventually abandoned the two-male beater set.

All hopes for the Lost Boys faded with an injury to Browne. With limited options on the bench from a weekend of bruising quidditch, the Lost Boys lacked an answer to Texas’ onslaught of drives. Although Browne briefly re-entered, the Lost Boys were well out of range. The semifinal concluded with a snitch catch from Evan Carr and a final score of 180*-30.

The University of Texas advances to the final against Lone Star Quidditch Club. Texas will attempt to earn a third consecutive championship.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Lone Star Tops Texas State to Advance to Final Four Game Against Maryland

Originally appeared on on April 12, 2015. (

A day after triumphantly defeating Lone Star Quidditch Club in the preliminary rounds, Texas State University – San Marcos altered its strategy, unfurled a tediously slow offense, and fell to the favored community team in the quarterfinals of World Cup 8. Kifer Gregoire caught the snitch to secure a 160*-60 victory out of snitch range.

At first, Texas State’s strategy appeared to be a stroke of genius. With little defensive aggression from Lone Star’s chasers, Texas State’s ball handlers could wait until beaters Ryan Peavler and Elizabeth Clementi created a no-bludgers opportunity. When Lone Star’s beaters fell into disarray, Texas State’s ball handlers exploded to the hoops, slicing through a scrambling defense. However, Texas State’s shots weren’t falling, and Lone Star slowly began converting on offense. Despite two fast break goals from Texas State, goals from Drew Wasikowski, Craig Garrison, and Sarah Holub lifted Lone Star to a 70-20 lead.

When snitch Mason Kuzmich entered the fray, the pace quickened slightly and both teams traded goals until the score reached 100-50. Texas State looked to be gaining momentum when Peavler was red carded. Peavler’s dismissal proved to be the game’s pivotal event. Soon after Kuzmich was handicapped, Gregoire pulled the snitchsock.

Lone Star will face the University of Maryland in the semifinals.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Warriors Triumph Over Capital Madness

Originally appeared on on April 12, 2015. (

In an intense Sunday morning matchup, the Warriors triumphed over Capital Madness Quidditch Club 140*-50, with Warriors seeker Andrew Zagelbaum securing the snitch catch. Both teams formed over the summer from the ashes of the NYDC Capitalists, a community team that disbanded after a highly disappointing performance at World Cup VII.

The opening minutes were characterized by a long scoreless drought. Although the Warriors’ offense appeared more threatening, Capital Madness’ defense stood strong, denying the Warriors goal after goal. With Madness coach James Hicks energizing his team, chasers Brennen Lutz and Steve Minnich turned up the physicality and clogged the middle of the pitch. Simultaneously, Capital Madness placed a beater behind the hoops to counter the Warriors’ passing game. Despite no real offensive threat from Capital Madness, the Warriors’ frustration mounted as goal-scoring opportunities were wasted. When Minnich retrieved a loose ball, raced down the pitch and dove through the small hoop, it looked like Capital Madness could pull off an upset for the ages.

“Both teams… were playing a lot more hesitant,” said Warriors captain Amanda Dallas.

As snitch George Williams jogged onto the field, the score was knotted at 20-20. Luckily for the Warriors, the snitch game distracted beaters, and Williams fended off the seekers. Line after line of Warriors chasers uncovered newfound energy, trucking through a tired Capital Madness defense. First-year Warriors player Mike Beloff notched several key goals, lifting the Warriors out of snitch range. With the scoreline widening, Zagelbaum added 30 points to take the Warriors’ total to 140 points.

“We have big guys that barrel through people,” Dallas said.

The Warriors improve to 3-2, keeping their bracket play hopes alive. After a valiant effort, Capital Madness falls to 2-3. Following postgame handshakes, the former members of the NYDC Capitalists united for one last “NYDC” chant.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Michigan Tops Ball State

Originally appeared on on April 11, 2015. (

In a lengthy blowout, Michigan Quidditch defeated Midwest foe the Ball State Cardinals 290*-80. After losing on a snitch catch to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Round Three, Michigan clearly bounced back, reasserting itself with a dominant victory.

At brooms up, Michigan set the tone with a high-energy, smashmouth style of play. With coast-to-coast fastbreaks and tackle-breaking drives, Michigan’s array of large, physical chasers pounded through a helpless Ball State defense. Michigan’s beaters were often able to create valuable no-bludger opportunities, and Ball State’s beaters lacked the discipline to react. Michigan chaser Eric Wasser tallied eight goals, repeatedly walking through Ball State’s defense, dragging several defenders along and sending the score into triple digits.

Although Ball State keeper Blake Fitzgerald notched a few key goals to keep the score close initially, Michigan’s defensive effort proved to be overwhelming. Especially in the opening minutes, Michigan’s chasers lunged for every loose ball, diving across the turf to regain possession. Michigan’s solid defense continued as the game slowed, where the team defended the hoops ferociously.

Michigan will take a 3-1 record to Sunday, while Ball State will look to improve its 2-2 record.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Texas State Wins Thriller Over Lost Boys

Originally appeared on on April 11, 2015. (

A controversial last-second goal by Tyrell Williams, coupled with a snitch catch by Stephen Gralinski, lifted Texas State University – San Marcos over a surging Lost Boys Quidditch Club squad, 90*-80.

Early in the game, Texas State’s offense put on a clinic, executing its signature hand-offs and sharp off-ball movement. Facing mighty Texas State chaser Eric Reyes, the Lost Boys defense struggled to hold back an avalanche of goals from the World Cup VII runner-ups. However, momentum began to swing to the Lost Boys with a series of outstanding shifts from the Lost Boys beaters and costly cards on Texas State. With less bludger control, Texas State proved unable to stop a fearless effort from Lost Boys keeper Alex Browne. A seasoned veteran, Browne seized control of the game, blocking shots on defense and racing down the pitch for fast break goals. Despite frequently hero-balling on fast breaks, Browne finally connected with the Lost Boys’ off-ball chasers, who had struggled to catch and finish early in the game. Suddenly, the Lost Boys turned a 50-30 deficit into an 80-50 lead.

While the Lost Boys appeared tantalizingly close to the safety of a 3-0 record, a bang-bang play with the snitch on pitch and the score at 80-50 left one of Southern California’s oldest community teams to the uncertainty of a 2-1 record. As Williams, a Texas State chaser, desperately sliced through the Lost Boys defense with the quaffle, Gralinski lunged at the snitch. The crowd roared incredulously, wondering whether the quaffle had passed through the hoops before the snitchsock had been snagged. After conferencing, the referees confirmed a 90*-80 Texas State victory.

The Lost Boys will look to overcome heartbreak and injuries in the next round and Texas State will continue its quest for Swiss play perfection at 3-0.