Sunday, March 8, 2015

80 in 80: College of Charleston

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 Clyde Moser and Matt Corder, coach and captain, respectively, of College of Charleston Quidditch (CofC).

Photo by Susan Coleman 

Quidditch Post: CofC was, without a doubt, the surprise finalist of any region. What did that mean to the team?
Clyde: I think we were surprised, too. When we first saw who we were going up against in our pool, we were definitely nervous. As soon as we came so close to almost taking Florida's Finest in that first game, something happened. We just all clicked and collectively thought, ‘If everyone doubts us, let's prove them wrong.’ As soon as we got our bid to go to World Cup after Saturday, in our eyes we had already won.

QP: This is CofC's first time qualifying for World Cup. What does that mean to you and  the program?
Clyde: It's amazing! This is my first year ever being a part of this team, and the improvement that I've seen has been spectacular. I think that the team earned the spot.
In regards to the program, it shows that we've been doing the right things. And being the top quidditch team in the state is pretty awesome, but the great thing that I love about the team is how much we support all of the teams in our state. We were cheering on the Southern Storm from the sidelines because we wanted more South Carolina teams to go to World Cup.
Matt: It means a lot to me. I started playing as a freshman when we were taping our numbers on the back of our T-shirts and had to play in the Division II of World Cup. Going from that to beating teams like the University of Miami and Tennessee Tech Quidditch, who we have so much respect for, is amazing to me. Our program as a whole has grown so much. We have a fantastic group of players, and I'm excited that we're going to hopefully finally get the recognition we've worked so hard for. We're a force to be reckoned with, and I'm excited to see where the program goes from here.

QP: Now that you have made it this far, what are your team’s goals?
Matt: Well, our initial goal was to just qualify for World Cup. But I think we realized our true potential after the regional championship. Now, we want to show the entire quidditch community that CofC and the South Carolina teams as a whole should not be taken lightly. We'd like to play against top-tier teams from all around the country and see how we stack up against them. And of course, we want to have fun doing so in the process. Because, like I just said, these will be teams that we don't usually get to play, so it will be an adventure for sure.
Clyde: Honestly, my only goals would be to keep growing and improving. Our cohesion is so beautiful now due to the fact that we're a family who loves and respects one another. I mean, everyone even calls me “Mom” since I'm the coach. No matter what happens from here on, we've accomplished so much that I just can't wait for the team to get the experience of World Cup and to show them all what we're made of.

QP: Is there anything you want to take away from the experience or hope that the team takes away?
Clyde: Not to underestimate ourselves or be complacent. I feel as though the regional championship showed the team that we're worth something, and I hope that the team doesn't get lethargic after World Cup. We have set the bar high now and have a new standard that has to be raised and met every game from here on out.

QP: Are there particular players you think are key to the team's success?
Matt: Everyone on the team is a major contribution, but we do have some very key players: our keeper, Steven Schwark, chasers Jess Coleman, Erin Brown, Trevor Faith, Jack Mckee, and Falcon Stewart, and beaters Joe Suthers, Griffin Scott, and Healani Enos. I'm also the primary seeker, but saying I'm a key player is kind of egotistical, so I won't say that.
Clyde: Matt is an amazing seeker, so I'll say that for him! In regards to the players, our beater brigade is incredible. All of them work so well together that we hardly worry about the combination.
Matt: Also, things to take away: I hope we realize that we are a great team and can achieve a lot. We just have to play consistently and work together. Also, we realized that when we keep our emotions in check, we play substantially better.

QP: Your team received a lot of cards in the finals. Do you think that will be a hinderance at World Cup?
Clyde: Right?! I think it was just the heat of the moment. We were the underdogs in the finals against an aggressive team, so of course the pressure was on. I tried to remind the players to think smart and slow it down, and when we did the cards stopped coming as fast. I don't think it'll hinder us, though. It's a huge learning lesson, but one that's an easy fix.
Matt: We did. Hah. I don't see it being too much of a hinderance. That's something we've struggled with a lot, especially with the aggressive chaser corps we have. It also comes with watching our attitudes on the fields and the sidelines. It's something we will continue to work on and discuss leading up to World Cup.

QP: How are you preparing for World Cup?
Clyde: I'm not afraid to make them run laps if they do something that deserves a card, like aggression or swearing. We're definitely going to be practicing harder than ever and riding this wave of momentum we're on. We're so lucky that we're able to have regularly scheduled practices. That means running drills, making plays, and ultimately bonding on and off the pitch to be the best team we can be. We have it in us. It's been there this whole time, and now that we've proven that, it's time to refine our skill so we stay on it.

QP: How would you describe the team's style of play?
Matt: We're a very fast-paced, aggressive team. We rely a lot on speed but also have the means to hit hard. We are also very defensive with our beater corps. In close games, we know how to slow the pace of the game to run the clock down, like in the University Miami game so that we can put our effort into the snitch game if we need to.

QP: Are there particular teams you hope to play?
Matt: I'd really like to play teams from the West, like the Lost Boys and the University of California Los Angeles. But I've also always wanted to play teams like the University of Texas at Austin and Lone Star Quidditch Club. It'd be cool to play Bowling Green State University and the University of Kansas as well.
Clyde: Well, I'm super excited about playing teams from all over! Each team that is going to be there has earned their spot rightfully so, and because of that I can't wait to play teams we've never played before so I can see what makes them so great and what we can learn from them.

QP: Thank you both for your time; we really appreciate it.
Clyde: Thank you!

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