Friday, January 23, 2015

80 in 80: RIT Dark Marks

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 Brian Herzog, RIT Dark Marks assistant captain.
Photo by Camille Johnson

Quidditch Post: Every year since its founding, RIT has progressed further and further at World Cup, starting at World Cup V with a strong Division II run, followed by the play-in round at World Cup VI, and finally the Round of 32 at World Cup VII. What do you think about this year? What's your goal?
Brian: Like you've mentioned, each year we have moved forward and naturally that's a trend we want to continue. Our goal this year is to go as far as possible and solidify a position as a notable and respectable team. To put it in more concrete terms, I believe the Sweet 16 is a goal we could definitely achieve if we work hard and play well.

QP: For three years, Jeff Sherman was pretty close to synonymous with RIT quidditch. Now that he has graduated, how has RIT replaced him both on and off the pitch?
Brian: Jeff is a great guy and for some time played a large role on the RIT executive board. Jeff really enjoys joining in discussions online and participating in many quidditch events, and because of this many people think of him as the face of RIT quidditch. I'm not sure any one person has replaced Jeff in our organization. We saw Kenny Radzyminski step into the primary captain position, and we have many players, such as Matt Niederberger, who frequently join in discussions of quidditch. I think the primary difference is that nobody necessarily claims the role of the "face of RIT quidditch" nowadays. On the pitch is a different story. RIT has been rapidly adjusting its playing style over the past years, so Jeff didn't necessarily need to be replaced; our playing style simply shifted to accommodate who we have.

QP: Shane Hurlbert has gotten a lot of attention lately. What does he mean to the team?
Brian: Shane's a great athlete and a good guy. We were very fortunate he could stick around to play this year, and we will be sad to see him go when he is no longer a member of our team. However, the nature of college sports teams is that players have to move on. Shane is a playmaker on the field; he knows how to score and break apart a defense, and once we got him to really start passing the ball, we saw a whole new side of his offensive prowess. He is really a great benefit to the team and we are thankful to have him around this year.

QP: Who are some of the players that maybe we haven't heard of that will be key to RIT achieving its goals?
Brian: I think beater Kyle Savarese is one player who doesn't get enough recognition. He gets a look every once in a while, but I think his positional changes have made people overlook him some. I think freshman beater Michael McGarvey could also be a real standout player. He wasn't a huge impact player in the beginning of the year, but he really stepped up at the regional championship and I expect big things from him in his time here.

QP: Is there any team that you personally or RIT as a whole is looking forward to playing?
Brian: I'm not sure there is any one team we are looking forward to playing. We try not to put targets on teams and just play our best against any team we play. We've found that we play our best when we just come into the game and do our job rather than worrying about which team we get to play. In a slightly broader sense, we would love to play some teams we haven't played before. We would love to play against some more big name universities such as UCLA or Penn State University. More than anything, I think at tournaments like World Cup we would like to play teams we don't normally see. I don't want to travel to South Carolina just to play the University of Rochester Thestrals for the 10th time in the last four years.

QP: Thanks so much for your time.

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