The Eighth Man

The Eighth Man 2012-2013 First Team All-Americans

The Eighth Man’s All-American teams were selected by the site’s staff using a simple ballot system. A first-team vote was worth three, a second-team vote two, and a third-team vote one. Each team contains seven players: two male chasers, one female chaser, one male beater, one female beater, a keeper and a seeker. Today, we present our first team. Check out our second team here and our third team here.

Chasers

Kody Marshall – University of Texas

Credit: Kat Ignatova/IQA Staff

Credit: Kat Ignatova/IQA Staff

As one of the pioneers to help revolutionize tackling in quidditch, Kody Marshall is undoubtedly deserving of a spot on this roster. It is very rare to witness a bad game from Marshall, as he has always been a game changer and continually makes big plays from tournament to tournament. And World Cup was no different. Going up against some of the best teams in the world, he was able to break tackles and score consistently. Marshall also has some of the best bludger dodging and blocking skills in the game, especially notable when he leaps high over thrown bludgers without losing his stride. Of course, he is most recognized for his defense prowess, where as point defender he stops many opposing offensive drives right at midfield. But Marshall is not simply good at stopping drives, but also retrieving the quaffle immediately after a tackle and initiating a counterattack.

Daniel Daugherty – Bowling Green State University

Credit: Leslie Bartsch

Credit: Leslie Bartsch

Daniel Daugherty is nearly unstoppable with the ball in his hands. He can drive to the hoops, and has enough balance and agility to keep his footing against all but the surest of tacklers. His patented long shot is incredibly powerful and accurate, and his distribution ability is second to none. Daugherty is constantly finding his teammates for easy goals in addition to the goals he scores on his own. Defensively, he harasses players both on and off the ball into making mistakes. Dan also doubles as a handy keeper for Bowling Green. He has stellar positioning, and is an excellent shot blocker. Daugherty is an excellent player overall, there is no doubt. His greatest strength though, is his natural leadership ability. Daugherty famously played so hard at World Cup that he was forced to take an IV. Even then, his only concern was getting back to the field. This kind of dedication to the team is an inspiration to teammates, and can bring a whole team to a higher level, as we saw in mid-April.

Sarah Holub – University of Texas

Credit: Quiyk

Credit: Quiyk

Sarah Holub is an absolute beast of a chaser, who would always be on the field, regardless of a mandated gender requirement. She can drive to the goals by herself with a strong aptitude for blocking bludgers, but is perhaps most adept at always being open for a quick two-handed catch and score by the hoops, where she has no problem maintaining quaffle possession, even in mid-air with a sizable keeper in her face. Even with the high pressure to perform at World Cup, Holub consistently made amazing plays, showing that her Team USA selection was not her ceiling, and she has continued to improve. Holub has probably the best tackling form of any female chaser, aside from her teammate Audrey Wright, who is equally good, which is a testament to very hard training and a fearlessness that comes naturally to her.

Beaters

Asher King Abramson – UCLA

Credit: Lauren Carter

Credit: Lauren Carter

 

On the surface, beater is a very reactionary position: a beater sits back and waits for other players to make moves, then beats them to neutralize passing or driving games.  The very best beaters, however, can impose their will upon the entire pitch, using their physical gifts with excellent strategic knowledge to push offenses back and completely shut them down, while at the same time opening up the field for their offenses.  Physically, Asher King Abramson is in his own league, combining excellent fitness with arguably the strongest arm in quidditch to absolutely control entire pitches.

In the World Cup quarterfinal against Kansas, King Abramson made arguably the play of the tournament: in his offensive keeper zone, Abramson saw Kansas chaser Ronell Sharp breaking the other way for a free goal, stepped up, and fired.  From literally keeper zone to keeper zone, King Abramson beat him in the back of the head, saving a goal for UCLA and creating an incredible highlight.  While these plays were not necessarily common, they underscored just what King Abramson was capable of, ranging across the entire pitch, babysitting his offense, shutting down opposing offenses, and helping to create a stranglehold in the bludger game for UCLA.  King Abramson’s uniquely aggressive style of play created huge opening for UCLA, and his skill and athleticism kept his side in control, as he could quickly recover into a solid position when needed.

Brittany Ripperger – Baylor University

Credit: Lauren Carter

Credit: Lauren Carter

Baylor is a tough defensive cookie to crack, and a serious contributor to this stout defense is Brittany Ripperger. In reality she hasn’t played that long, but she reflects the play style of a much more seasoned beater through her strategy and physicality. Ripperger shines the most when she is without a bludger, and has absolutely no problem laying out a tackle to steal back a ball for her team. It is nearly impossible to take a bludger from her, as no matter how many times she is tackled or pursued, she refuses to relinquish her bludger easily, which was highlighted in her game against Boston University, where their beaters were unsuccessful in taking her bludger from her the entire game. Ripperger also can be very sneaky, and has great success in stripping beaters of bludgers when they least expect it, which she succeeded in a couple times during their UCLA game. The scariest and most impressive thing about her is that she is only a freshman, so it is likely this is only the beginning for her, and the sky’s the limit for her future successes.

Keeper

Augustine Monroe – University of Texas

Credit: Kat Ignatova/IQA Staff

Credit: Kat Ignatova/IQA Staff

Augustine Monroe, very well known by his fitting nickname “Slipstream,” has continued to display his superior athletic ability throughout the season and into the World Cup. By now, most people are very well versed in Monroe’s strengths, so this is mostly just going to serve as a reminder of facts commonly recognized. On defense, he does a fantastic job remaining mobile and knowing when to step up and make a tackle or sit back and wait for an interception. Monroe also has an extremely quick transition speed for counter attacks, where he knows how to take advantage of defenses that don’t drop back and set up fast enough. From here, he is adept at long shots and accurate passes depending on the situation set out before him, which he will read and react to appropriately, facilitating a solid offensive momentum across the board. Monroe also has the ability to drive to the hoops, easily weaving through defenses that commonly struggle to bring him down due to his strength and agility.

Seeker

Porter Marsh – Northern Arizona University

Credit: Robert Valenzuela

Credit: Robert Valenzuela

When evaluating seekers, much time and effort can be spent analyzing each of their traits and strategies, and using that to project how likely they are to have future success in making key snitch grabs. But the best indicator of their success and abilities is still their track record. Porter Marsh is the perfect example of that. The only seeker to make every snitch grab in every single one of his team’s games at World Cup has put together the most impressive resume of any seeker in the sport. Marsh went 5-for-5 in games within snitch range at World Cup, leading Northern Arizona to a surprising Elite Eight finish.

No seeker is more clutch than Marsh, who delivered time and time again with the game on the line. Starting with some big grabs against ASU at the beginning of the season, he has been quietly taking care of business like no other. His ability to distribute his weight well makes him surprisingly difficult to throw, while he uses his hands to bait the snitch into making a mistake, upon which he has capitalized time and time again. Marsh may not look particularly intimidating, but no seeker takes care of business as well as he does.

2012-2013 First Team All-Americans

C Kody Marshall – University of Texas
C Daniel Daugherty – Bowling Green State University
C Sarah Holub – University of Texas
B Asher King Abramson – UCLA
B Brittany Ripperger – Baylor University
K Augustine Monroe – University of Texas
S Porter Marsh – Northern Arizona University

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.