Sunday, February 22, 2015

80 in 80: Long Beach

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, Michael Aguilera coach of the Long Beach Funky Quaffles (LBFQ).
Photo Courtesy of Long Beach Funky Quaffles
Quidditch Post: Last year LBFQ surprised many by advancing out of Pot Five to reach bracket play. Where do you go from here?
Michael: Well, this year was a big rebuilding and recruiting year for us, so a lot of our talent is still new to quidditch. We hope to do the same as last year and better. Our goal has and will always be to leave everything we've got on the pitch, while letting everyone know that we've brought the funk.

QP: The general Long Beach/South Los Angeles area is home to what is widely considered the two top teams in the West: the Lost Boys and the Los Angeles Gambits. How has being so close to those two teams impacted the LBFQ?
Michael: Being in such close proximity to said talent has done nothing but drive us to better ourselves to try to play at that skill level. Not to mention the fact that both of those teams have players that continuously come to our practices, which is such a big help.

QP: Are there any players on LBFQ who you think are crucial to the team's success?
Michael: I think all of my teammates are vital to our success. It was our great chemistry and ability to sub out well that helped us secure our World Cup bid. With that being said, our starting line deserves so much credit for beefing up and setting the tone for our aggressive play stylethat would be keeper Joe Grant, chasers Troy Roomes, Anthony Hawkins, Alex Pisaño, and beaters Alexia Barnes and Andrew Burger.

QP: You also lost a lot of top players to the Gambits. Did that have any impact on the team this year?
Michael: Originally it was a big hit to the team (almost the entire starting line of last years LBFQ team departed), but fortunately for us the players who stuck with our ever-growing program were solid, dedicated players who put their everything into getting us back on track and have done a spectacular job. We are as strong, if not stronger, than we were last year, and we plan on making sure that we continue in that direction.

QP: How would you describe the team's style of play?
Michael: I would say that we are an aggressive mid-range team that likes to make hits.

QP: Any goals for World Cup?
Michael: We're the party team! We're going to be there play our hearts out and party with the best teams in the nation! But realistically a personal goal would be to make it past the first rounds of bracket play.

QP: Well if you're going to bill yourselves as the party team then I have to ask: anyone on LBFQ who you think has a shot at after-party MVP honors?
Michael: For those that attended Snow Cup earlier this year that answer is simpleKatie Garnett! World Cup isn't ready for her or her antics!

QP: Are there any teams that you hope to face?
Michael: Hm...that's a tough question. Honestly I wouldn't mind matching up against the University of Arkansas Quidditch, since it was the last team to beat us on Day One at World Cup last year. I also want to meet our new cross country rivals, University of South Florida Quidditch, since we picked up one of its players this season. With that said, I'm expecting to see it there since its regional championship isn't until next week.

QP: Is there anything else you think our readers should know about LBFQ?
Michael: Only that what happens on the pitch stays on the pitch. Don't be afraid to come seek us out. (Catch what I did there? Haha!) If you're in our hotel room, expect to be partying with us!

QP: Thanks Michael, we appreciate your time.

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