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 Ebli De La Rosa Jr., captain and coach of Florida Gulf Coast Quidditch (FGCU).
Quidditch Post: FGCU doesn't have a particularly rich quidditch history. What does it mean to the team to qualify for World Cup?
Ebli: Honestly, it means quite a bit. Our team has struggled since its inception to consistently field a solid roster. But we've had a core group of players who have hung around, and this year finally found some pieces that just filled the gaps. Qualifying shows us that even though we may not have things as together as we'd hope/like, we do have the capacity to be a team that competes.
QP: The FGCU basketball team was known as Dunk City a few years ago. Would you say the quidditch team has a style?
Ebli: I'd say our style is scrappy. Our talent is slightly underestimated (in part because we have not been able to use it to its potential), but what really defines us is our fight. We are in no way afraid of contact, in no way afraid to get dirty, and certainly not afraid to run right into someone if it means we get what we need, be it bludger control or a score.
QP: Does the team have goals for World Cup?
Ebli: To compete as best as we can. It's our first time going, so we really just want to represent our school and our state well.
QP: Can you talk about a few of the team's key players?
Ebli: Sure. Key players from the old guard would be Maikol Brito and Caroline Waterman. Maikol is our head beater, so generally whatever is going on in beater play is ultimately his doing. Caroline is really the only reason there even IS a team right now. The girl keeps FGCU Quidditch alive. From the newcomers: Edwin De La Rosa, Lucas Doran, Tyler May, and Alli Garrich. Lucas, Tyler, and Alli showed up in the nick of time to round out our chaser roster, and Edwin De La Rosa took claim of sole possession at the seeker position. Check his record; he needs no substitution.
QP: What do you hope the team takes away from its experience at World Cup?
Ebli: I hope the team gets a chance to really see the rest of the quidditch world, myself included. The only teams we have ever seen are regional teams, and of those mainly just Florida teams. It would be great to have that experience, to see just how much is out there.
QP: Is there anything else you think our readers should know about FGCU?
Ebli: Our team may be small and quirky, but we give our best effort no matter who we face.
QP: Thanks; we appreciate it.
Ebli: No worries. Thank you.