Friday, March 27, 2015

80 in 80: Florida's Finest

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 Sean Pagoada, coach of Florida’s Finest (FF).

Photo by Mark Tucker

Quidditch Post: Last year, the team advanced to the Sweet 16 and went undefeated in pool play; where do you go from here?
Sean: Our goal since last World Cup is to #winWorldCup.

QP: What will it take to win World Cup?
Sean: Being the best conditioned team out there, as well as adjusting to the varying play styles from other regions.

QP: How are you preparing for World Cup?
Sean: Practicing, working out, and watching as much film as possible.

QP: Do you think the Swiss Style will have any impact?
Sean: Just a positive one. We're just as confident with the Swiss Style as we were with the previous format.

QP: Are there particular teams you hope to face?
Sean: We would love to face the top teams from just about every region. Each brings their own challenge, and we'd love to face all of them if possible.

QP: If you keep winning in the Swiss Style, it might just be. How would you describe FF's style of play?
Sean: Every lineup has a different style of play. New York University Nundu is known for its different defensive sets; we will be known for our different offensive setups. All in all, every single player fills a role and will make us stronger as we keep the intensity throughout the two-day tournament.

QP: Who would you say are some of the team's key players?
Sean: Fourth-year players Bobby Padan and Race McKnight lead our beating corps. Sean Snipes continues to be our best scorer. Andrea Cammarano easily creates the most mismatches at chaser with her size and quickness. Emilio De Narváez has come through with some clutch grabs in SWIM situations this season.

QP: And what about you?
Sean: I've be chasing as well as seeking this season. Just continuing to become the best player I can be for my team.

QP: You recently added Dre Clements, who not only is one of the top chasers in the world but also has a bit of World Cup glory to his name. What impact do you think that will have?
Sean: He brings a ton of knowledge accompanied by his fantastic play on both sides of the ball. Our chances of going all the way have definitely gone up with his addition.

QP: Your team has had a lot of success in the South and hasn't been challenged much. Do you think that will be detrimental when you face tough teams at World Cup?
Sean: It definitely doesn't help, but going up against Tennessee Tech Quidditch and College of Charleston Quidditch's different play styles (from the Florida teams) will help. Also, dating back to our first season, we're 9-2 in SWIM in situations with only one out-of-range loss. Most of the team has years of experience; as long as we play our game, we'll be just fine.

QP: Why do you think the team is so good in SWIM situations?
Sean: SWIM situations are best handled by experienced players as well as clutch players, and we have both.

QP: Thanks, Sean; we appreciate your time.
Sean: Sure thing!

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