Tuesday, February 24, 2015

80 in 80: Skrewts

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, Kevin Oelze coach/captain of the Silicon Valley Skrewts.

Photo Credit: Monica Wheeler Photography

QP: It seems like every year we can expect roughly the same thing from the Skrewts. A World Cup berth, a spot in bracket play, and threatening all of the top teams. To what do you credit the team's consistency?
Kevin: I think our team's greatest aspect is probably our minds. I know it seems a bit weird to say, but I feel like we can play with just about anyone if we outsmart them and play our game. That's why we train our minds as well as our bodies.

QP: How will your team be preparing for World Cup then?
Kevin: Well, there's the normal stuff. Working out, playing normally, playing in tournaments, etc. But there's other stuff. I'm planning to re-read Sun Tzu's The Art of War, and we'll spend plenty of time playing our favorite strategy games like Legendary, Avalon, and Sentinels of the Multiverse. And, of course, chemistry is important, so we all get together and eat wings. Protein is important!

QP: Do the Skrewts have a wing-eating champion? A board game champion?
Kevin: I wouldn't mess with Willis Miles in eating wings. Dude has the stomach of a tyrannosaurus rex. I'm probably the closest thing we have to a board game champion these days. I play a mean Percival. Or Merlin. Or Morgana. But Chewy Shaw's probably a close second there.

QP: The beater pair of Willis and Kyrie Timbrook has been crucial to the Skrewts over the years. What do those two do on the pitch that makes them so successful?
Kevin: There's some obvious physical talent there, and that's certainly a lot of it. I'd be surprised to find there was another All-American from a mainstream sport playing quidditch. But more than anything else it's their chemistry. The two are practically inseparable off the pitch (it helps that they're roommates), and it's like they're on the same brainwave all the time. 

QP: Are there any Skrewts who maybe don't get the attention they deserve?
Kevin: You know most of the obvious names. Probably the biggest one is keeper Andrew Covel, who's in his second year and has held the fort excellently while Chris Lock and I have been injured. Chewy's been having a great year for us too. They've both bought into the program philosophy--they've trained their minds, and they've become much better players because of it.

QP: Do you foresee Swiss Style having an impact on the Skrewts at all?
Kevin: I mean, we're pretty good at math? I know I have some firsthand experience playing in chess tournaments, so I'm used to the format.

QP: Fair enough. One of the concerns with the Skrewts going into the regional championship was the lack of playing time the team has had with Alex Makk this year; do you foresee that being an issue at all going into World Cup?
Kevin: It's always an issue when your whole team can't play together, but a lot of us have played with Alex for a long time. I don't think it'll be a huge issue. I mean last year he showed up at World Cup and completely rescued us from a sticky situation in a game of Sentinels in the hotel room. Unleashed something like a 40-damage turn as Bunker. It was sweet; you should have been there. Oh, and he's pretty good at quidditch too.

QP: Are there any teams that you hope to face at World Cup?
Kevin: Not really. Good teams? It's no challenge beating Random State University 240*-30.

QP: Any particular goals for World Cup?
Kevin: I'd like to get a few, yes. Though I prefer assists. Oh, you mean my team? I'll start small: get there in one piece. We don't have the best track record with this stuff.

QP: Assuming the team can accomplish that? Anything further?
Kevin: Play hard and represent ourselves well. Can't ask for any more than that from my team.

QP: Thanks Kevin; we appreciate your time.
Kevin: Not a problem.

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