Guest Column: Southwest Beater Analysis


On the sport’s biggest stage, the quality of competition is sure to lead to plenty of close games that are decided on a snitch grab. Teams with top-notch seekers have to be feeling good about their chances this weekend.

Harry Greenhouse, Maryland

Harry Greenhouse, Maryland

Many seekers have immaculate records, so we looked deeper than that to determine this list. With only five on the list, I tried to focus on the strengths and strategies that would pay the most dividends against elite competition. Here are the top five seekers of World Cup VI.

Billy Greco, Villanova
This should come as no surprise. Everybody watching the IQA Summer Games got to see exactly what Greco can do. He’s been terrorizing snitches for several years now, and the Summer Games was just a continuation of what he’s been doing for a long time. If there was a Seeker Hall of Fame, Greco would be one of its first inductees.

Greco is absolutely relentless when it comes to going after the snitch. Some seekers prefer a sneak-attack approach. Not Billy Greco: he charges straight at the snitch, using his physicality to get close. Then he gets those long arms moving, which seem to have eyes of their own as they search out the snitch tail behind the snitch runner’s back. Greco doesn’t need to be able to see the snitch tail to catch it, and I have never seen anyone more skilled at blind grabs.

Villanova has risen to become one of the elite teams in the IQA, with a good portion of the credit for that belonging to Billy Greco. He rarely fails to pull the snitch, regardless of the stage on which he’s playing. Fantasy tournaments, international tournaments, regionals, local tournaments — he’s dominated all of them. There’s no reason to think that anything will change at the World Cup.

Jacob Heppe, Michigan State
Heppe, unlike the veteran Greco, is a rookie this season. However, you wouldn’t suspect his inexperience from the way he plays, where his elite athleticism more than makes up for it.

Heppe has that rare combination of speed and strength that can instantly turn any proficient seeker into an elite one. Most snitches can’t outrun him and can’t outmuscle him, leaving them with very few options to protect themselves. He also has a low center of gravity, making it difficult for snitches to effectively grapple with or throw him. While he does lack ideal arm length, his strength allows him to get in close enough to the snitch that any negative effects from that are minimized.

Despite being young and inexperienced, Heppe does possess a good knowledge of snitch behavior, as he is an accomplished snitch himself. Snitches expecting to rely on his inexperience are going to be severely disappointed. He has also proven clutch, getting multiple overtime snitch grabs to lead Michigan State to the championship of the Glass City Classic earlier this year.

Harry Greenhouse, Maryland
Being both a go-to chaser and star seeker for an elite team requires some very special abilities. Harry Greenhouse possesses those abilities in the form of top-end speed, incredible strength, and levels of endurance most of us can only dream of.

Greenhouse’s background as a wrestler makes him extremely difficult for snitches to grapple with. He gets low while pushing forward, making it nearly impossible to redirect him. There may very well not be a stronger seeker in the league; Greenhouse is a snitch’s nightmare.

Greenhouse’s ability to come after the snitch repeatedly at full strength makes him extremely dangerous. He’s like the Energizer Bunny of seekers — he just keeps going and going. Instead of snitches tiring him out, he wears the snitches out like a hunter tiring out their prey.

Steve DiCarlo, Lost Boys
Yes, Snitchy himself is one of the elite seekers in the game, even if he doesn’t always get credit for it. Since moving to the West, he has been nothing short of automatic, racking up a perfect on-pitch record for snitch grabs.

DiCarlo is undersized compared to the other seekers on this list, but he uses brains over brawn to make up for his lack of size. While he does possess good speed, adequate strength, and good agility, he’s not going to overwhelm anyone with just his physical abilities. But he makes up for that by being arguably the single “smartest” seeker in the IQA.

DiCarlo’s honed analysis of seekers and snitches comes from a deep understanding of both positions, and almost no one in the sport understands those nuances like he does. On the pitch, DiCarlo can predict the snitch’s movements with a startling level of accuracy. Every move he makes as a seeker is well-calculated, with few wasted movements or foolish tactics. He also has very sure hands, and if he can touch the snitch sock at all, he’s pretty much guaranteed to catch it.

David Moyer, University of Miami
While there has been speculation over how different elite players will hold up in the Florida weather, no such speculation need be made for Moyer, who is competing on the Florida Quidditch Conference’s home turf. He is well acclimated to the weather, and will have no problems holding up throughout the entire tournament. A scary proposition, considering he already possesses an elite skill set.

While he is fairly lanky and doesn’t possess ideal strength, he has plenty of speed and endurance to compensate. While some teams go with an off-pitch/on-pitch seeker platoon, Miami doesn’t have to worry about that, as Moyer handles both for them with great results. Off-pitch grabs are a common occurrence with him. His speed allows him to run down almost any snitch, and his endurance means he can do so continuously.

Moyer’s biggest strength is his long arms. He has tremendous reach, and uses that to his advantage. He gets his arms moving fast, sometimes too fast for the snitch to keep track of. Once the snitch is confused, he just reaches in and makes the grab. He also has great leaping ability, and uses those long arms to make jumping over-the-back grabs.

David Moyer’s endurance, speed, and long reach are a terrifying combination in any seeker, and combining that with the home-turf advantage he has at World Cup, he should be nothing short of phenomenal this weekend.







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