Friday, January 30, 2015

80 in 80: Emerson

As part of our efforts to preview all 80 teams competing in USQ World Cup 8, the Quidditch Post is chatting with representatives from each team. Today we spoke with David Fox, captain of Emerson College Quidditch.
Photo Courtesy of Emerson College Quidditch

Quidditch Post: Last year, Emerson made a surprise run to the Final Four; what are your goals for this year?
David: Well, we’re definitely a very different team this year, only bringing over four players from that Final Four team. There’s been a lot of new talent to develop, and this group has a totally different skill set, so we’ve had to adapt. They’ve made huge strides from the beginning of the season, though, and are really starting to come into their own as players. They have a ton of potential, and after our first week of practices it’s been clear that they’re approaching the game with a lot more patience and confidence, which is making a big difference. By April we'll be ready to make it deep in Day Two again.

QP: Who are some of the team's newcomers who people in the quidditch community might not know yet?
David: John General, one of our freshman beaters, is a beast of an athlete and tackles harder than anyone I've ever seen play this game. Dom Bailey is also a big game-changer for us. His defense was a big reason why we were able to play even with the Tufts University Tufflepuffs in our Massachusetts Quidditch Conference matchup. He started the game off with back-to-back midfield tackles on David Stack that led to back-to-back goals for us. He’s just an overall beast of a chaser. If he had been able to go to the regional championship, then a lot of people would know his name.

QP: You have also earned numerous accolades for what you do on the pitch. Can you talk a bit about your game and what you bring to the team?
David: I always try to bring intensity. I'm never one to shirk away from contact, or from putting my body on the line for that extra hustle play, and that's something I try to instill in the team as a whole. I feel like a lot of the time I’m portrayed as some hulking behemoth who just trucks through people all day, but that’s really how it was my first two years. I’ve been focusing a lot on more efficient play, more on setting up my teammates and spinning out of contact instead of relying on brute force.

QP: Are there any teams you'd like to play at World Cup?
David: I've always wanted to play Baylor University; I feel like there are a lot of similarities between our teams because we have both become known for our zone defense and seem to play a different style than what's favored within our regions. Playing the Los Angeles Gambits would also be cool; I'd love to match up against Tony Rodriguez and Andrew Murray.

QP: You alluded to it a bit, but how would you describe Emerson's style of play?
David: We want to make it really, really not fun to play against us. Nobody should ever come away from a game against Emerson thinking, "oh boy, that was so great; nobody pushed me to the ground, both teams got to show their stuff, lets do it again soon." We aim to frustrate teams with our defense. Especially given how teams have grown to love bringing their beaters up on offense, if we can pressure them into early turnovers, then that's going to translate to goals.

QP: What will it take for Emerson to have a successful World Cup?
David: The new players continuing their development, and everyone really committing to working hard throughout the always-shitty Boston winter.

QP: What is the team doing to overcome the weather and prepare for World Cup?
David: Well, we're working with our school to get access to the basketball gym when nobody else is using it (which is a big step forward for the program, which has always been at odds with the administration). Besides that, people are going to have to focus on getting to the gym and just being tough enough to play in the cold.

QP: I think that covers everything. Thank you for your time.

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