Wednesday, March 4, 2015

80 in 80: The Lost Boys

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 Chris Seto, captain of the Lost Boys.

Quidditch Post: The Lost Boys lost a lot of key players from last year's squad, and yet you just keep winning against the West. What has allowed the team to perform so consistently well over such a long period of time?
Chris: While many players left the team after last season, our returning group has the benefit of not only having played quidditch for years, but having played together before. Having an experienced and in-sync core has allowed us to bring new players into the fold who are ready to contribute right away.

QP: Alex Browne has really cemented himself as one of the best keepers in the world. What does he bring to the team?
Chris: It's easy to point out the impact he has on the field in terms of goals, passing, and shot blocking, but Alex is also an outstanding leader who I've had the pleasure of sharing captaincy duties with. He brings an unwavering, positive spirit and tactical understanding to games and practices. It's very easy to play with Alex because he is an enthusiastic mentor to other players and always looks to put them in a position to succeed.

QP: In addition to Alex, Missy Sponagle has continued to show herself as one of the best players in the world, particularly embracing even more of a utility role; how has she impacted the squad?
Chris: Missy has played very sparingly since picking up an injury in our first tournament of the season, but we hope to have her continue her recovery and return to full fitness soon. In the meantime, she's continued to help the team with her talent and versatility, most recently playing three positions at the regional championship.

QP: The Lost Boys are probably best known for their beaters. Can you speak about the unit?
Chris: There has been little change from last year's group. Sarah Ballister has been a welcome addition, and Sarah Carter showed well in her first tournament with the team. It should come as no surprise that our approach to beating is based on working together and doing everything in our power to affect the scoreline, short of putting the quaffle through the hoops ourselves.

QP: You highlighted something that I find interesting, which is that the Lost Boys seemingly have this neverending development of talented players. Of course, I'm sure part of it is the Emerson College connection, but there seem to be a lot of players who just come out of relative obscurity, be it Maddy Wojdak, Joanne Lam, Brooke Lydon, Sarah Ballister, do you work to develop such a vast array of players?
Chris: The Lost Boys are fortunate to be able to recruit veteran players. Jo Lam and Sarah Ballister, who both played for top teams in the quidditch hotbed of Boston for several years, required little adjustment to find their roles in our team and continue to improve. They may not have been key players for Emerson College Quidditch and Boston University Quidditch, but their obscurity has less to do with a lack of talent than a dearth of comprehensive quidditch journalism in past years. Maddy and Brooke both played in Emerson's intramural league for the entirety of their time at college and are examples of how much it is possible for players already familiar with the sport to improve given the right circumstances. Being surrounded by long-time veterans working in an established system makes it easy for players with little to no competitive experience to develop quickly. Instead of a dozen rookies trying to learn the game together, we have a handful of new additions with plenty of role models to emulate and mentors to learn from. Our only true rookie this year is keeper/seeker Mike Lewis, who's already cemented himself as a solid contributor.

QP: You and Peter Lee have earned a reputation as two of the top beaters. What do you two bring to the team, and how has that helped the Lost Boys?
Chris: Peter brings the invaluable experience of being the driving force for Vassar College's quidditch team on both offense and defense. He stretches the boundaries of what it's possible for beaters to do and challenges the rest of our beaters to do the same. For my part, I try to teach fundamentals and coordinating movement, as well as keep Peter's expansive expeditions in check.

QP: How would you describe the team's style of play?
Chris: We just came up short in our last match, so at the risk of having my reading comprehension questioned, I'm going to have to go with "not good enough." Fortunately, we finally had some games filmed at the regional championship, so the fans and analysts should be able to decide for themselves soon. Videos trump words any day.

QP: Do you have any goals for World Cup?
Chris: We would certainly like to improve on last year's result. We came close at WCVI, but we've never reached the Final Four, so that's something we would be happy to do.

QP: Are there any teams you'd particularly like to play?
Chris: Personally, some of the most fun matches I played last year were against the top Southwest teams at Diamond Cup, but we never got to play Lone Star Quidditch Club or Texas State University-San Marcos. Also, Sean Pagoada owes me a Florida's Finest jersey (a really good-looking prize if you ask me) if we beat his team at World Cup, so to whoever's in charge of the flights at World Cup: make it happen!

QP: Thanks, Chris; we appreciate your time.
Chris: My pleasure.

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