It has taken a few years and a trip to America, but SFU Quidditch now has their first trophy for finishing in the top three in a major Quidditch tournament.
The team took home the “Meh” third place award in the Subdued Excitement tournament, behind the Rain City Raptors and the UBC Thunderbirds, who won the “OK” first place and “Yep” second place trophies, respectively.
The tournament, which took its namesake from Bellingham’s nickname as “the city of subdued excitement”, was held on January 23, and featured teams from British Columbia, Alberta, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
SFU Quidditch lost their first match against UBC, but then went undefeated the rest of the way, taking down the British Columbia Quidditch Club (110–30* asterisks here and onwards indicate which team caught the Snitch), Western Washington University Wyverns (80*–70), and Emerald City Admirals (140*–60) in round-robin action to secure their spot in the third place match. From there, they went on to defeat the Vancouver Vipertooths by a score of 160*–50.
Team captain and keeper James Champion noted that there are so many new faces on the team, and that has really contributed to the rise in success that SFU is currently seeing.
“I feel like we’ve got more people than we’ve had in the past,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of young people who are new to the school and want to be rambunctious with their friends and want to carry that energy onto a Quidditch pitch. I feel like we’ve got a really good atmosphere here.”
Champion also went on to talk about the offensive depth this team has, which is potentially the deepest it has ever been. He pointed specifically to the game against BCQC, in which SFU kept them from scoring until BCQC caught the Snitch to end the game.
“I was able to look at the scoresheet after and see that six different chasers had scored and nobody had more than two goals, which I thought was a really good example of what our teamwork is, what our practicing has done, and what good offensive depth can do against another program [. . .] we can [win] when we have people working as a team and when we have everyone stepping up and contributing,” Champion said.
Avery Herbert, keeper for the team, is a first-year player who contributes to the aforementioned depth. While he and the rest of the team know when to take practices and games seriously, he is also a part of that rambunctious attitude that helps keep the team’s morale high and make it something the athletes want to be a part of.
“I’m just blessed I can wake up everyday and play the sport I love,” said Herbert. “There are some people who dream of playing in the big leagues when they toss around the quaffle on the weekend, but I get to make that dream a reality.”
“To be able to play on a team like this and then take home a trophy on top of it, it’s just surreal. It’s the kind of stuff movies are made of.”
Next up for SFU Quidditch is regionals, which will be held in Abbotsford on Feb. 27. According to Champion, the goal isn’t about coming home with any recognition but to keep improving as a team.
“What we’re looking for is to build as a team as a result of the regional tournament rather than to win,” he said. “We want to establish this program strongly and establish a spirit of competitiveness that we want to characterize of [SFU] Quidditch.”
Disclaimer: Nathan is a member of the SFU Quidditch team.