Guest Column: Southwest Beater Analysis


The morning air was crisp and people’s mouths emitted soft clouds with every exhale. Hands were buried deep in hoodie pouches and sweat pant pockets as people started arriving at the field. This wasn’t some tournament in the old lands of quidditch in the North, nor was it the Trial by Fire. This was the 2nd Annual Lumberjack Invitational, sponsored by the Northern Arizona University Narwhals.

SCORES:

Lost Boys 160* – Arizona State 30 (22:55)

Northern Arizona 160* – Arizona 20 (13:28)

Arizona State 140* – Quid Pro Quo 30 (22:45)

Lost Boys 160* – Quid Pro Quo 10 (17:40)

Northern Arizona 220 – Quid Pro Quo 80* (25:38)

Arizona State 170* – Arizona 10 (18:38)

Lost Boys 180 – Northern Arizona 120* (29:30)

Lost Boys 210* – Arizona 0 (18:00)

Arizona State 90* – Northern Arizona 60 (18:00)

Arizona 100* – Quid Pro Quo 90 (18:22)

 

SEMIFINALS:

(1)Lost Boys 110 – (4)Arizona 30* (11:22)

(2)Arizona State 130* – (3)Northern Arizona 50 (20:00)

 

FINAL:

(1)Lost Boys 220* – (2)Arizona State 30

 

MVP – Vanessa Goh (Lost Boys)

lost boys 2

The Lost Boys. Credit: tumblr

Lost Boys Quidditch – 1st Place (6-0)

The Lost Boys came into this tournament as the favorites to win it all and didn’t disappoint. New additions Vanessa Goh, Jeff Lin, and Tiffany Chow made an instant impact as a fierce starting chaser line. With stud beaters Chris Seto and Michael Mohlman in front of Tony Rodriguez at Keeper, the 1st line looked to be as talented as the team’s new ranking would imply. Even though their depth wasn’t all there with part of their team still in Los Angeles, beater Mitch Cavender came out and showed that he’s more than just an afterthought. Their defense stood strong and kept opponents’ scoring chances low – when they let it happen at all.

Despite their dominance this tournament, there are still areas for the Lost Boys to improve on. NAU scored 90 Quaffle points against them, and and at the start of the day they seemed to need a little time before pulling away from ASU. They leave Lumberjack with the championship and the MVP, but their biggest test comes October 19th in the SCQC Championships, where they’ll be facing USC & UCLA.

 

Arizona State University – 2nd Place (4-2)

ASU is under new management and has revamped their strategy. They brought nine beaters to make sure their lines had fresh legs on a long day of play. As could be expected, Alex Makk was the everyman for ASU, filling in at beater when they needed bludger control back and going in at chaser when they needed offensive production. With the loss of keeper Willie Jackson, newcomer Aaron Hill primarily filled the spot. Hill fits well to the mold of Willie Jackson, and did very well in his first tournament. The interesting thing about the team was that with their massive stable of beaters, they may have rotated too many people in and out. Against Lost Boys & NAU, ASU’s best beater Duston Mazzela spent extra time on the sidelines when most would assume they would sub the person next to him to maintain top strength.

 

Northern Arizona University – 3rd Place (2-3)

NAU came into the season off an Elite 8 run in World Cup VI. They had very little loss of talent and a ton of new players. While everyone knows who seeker Porter Marsh is, their season will fall more on the shoulders of their offense. In all three losses at Lumberjack, their chasers seemed to settle for long passes instead of driving to the hoops. Their strength came when their new, more physical players used their aggression to get in close. Let it be known that NAU comes with a serious physical force now. This team is better than last year’s; however they are very prone to penalties. Two losses to rival ASU hurts their status but I would suggest that if last year taught us anything, it’s that we shouldn’t underestimate these Narwhals.

Lost Boys chaser Tiffany Chow catches the quaffle against ASU.

Lost Boys chaser Tiffany Chow catches the quaffle against ASU. Credit: Natalie Volin

University of Arizona – 4th Place (1-4)

Arizona is one of the weaker teams in the Western Region. They came into Lumberjack hoping to see where they stood against the top and came out with some clear answers. They tend to run a Baylor-style defense, but lack the physicality to do it as effectively. Their beaters and chasers seemed out of sync. The team has its upsides, but most likely needs another season before having a chance to crack into the truly competitive levels of Western teams.

 

Quid Pro Quo – 5th (0-4)

The record doesn’t tell the whole story of this team. While they didn’t win, they were up against University of Arizona with a very banged up roster. Low in numbers, they were great players and sportsmanship was high with them. If this team can just clone themselves and give themselves a 15-16 person roster, their record for this season could look much different. They have players that if added to top level teams would get their name known by other regions quickly (See: Mitch Dumas).







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