Friday, March 20, 2015

80 in 80: University of South Florida

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 Baustin Archie, captain/coach of University of South Florida Quidditch.
Photo by Layna Hackman

Quidditch Post: After going 4-0 in pool play at the South Regional Championship, your team left little doubts about whether or not you belong. To what do you attribute the strong performance?
Baustin: First off, before I have a little fun with this interview, I need to let it be known that this interview and the rest of our season is dedicated to our other captain, Gabe Moreta. He suffered a gruesome injury on Day Two at the regional championship, and the pitch won't be the same without him. #getwellsoonmyfriend

To answer your question: attitude. We believe we can beat everyone in the South with our full squad. We don't fear anyone. We found ways to win this weekend. Player after player stepped up and proved their worth and why they are right to believe they are the best!

QP: What are your goals heading into World Cup?
Baustin: Win some games. Short and sweet. Realistically,  my goal is to get halfway through Day Two. Another goal is to beat our frenemies on the West Coast, the Long Beach Funky Quaffles (LBFQ). #heymichael

QP: Who would you say are some of the team's key players?
Baustin: I could give you my cliché answers in Jody Louis and Austin Webster, but they get enough limelight, so I'll go with two unconventional responses.

Matt Clevenger and Andres Cedeno. At this point, Matt is our Swiss Army knife. He does everything: chase, keep, beat, and seek. And he does it well. He was originally a chaser, but I've had him seek at some tournaments this season, and he was superb. And then this weekend against the University of South Carolina (USC), we lost a beater early due to a red card, and USC was able to destroy us with its double-male tactic, so I had to go double-male beater to counter. Matts been playing for about three years, and I could probably count on my hand the amount of playing time he has had beating in meaningful games. Matt was absolutely amazing. His years of gameplan experience combined with his athleticism obviously made the beating game look easy for him. Matt and Danny Velazquez, our double-male beater duo, were absolutely superb! Having his type of versatility just makes my job so much easier and harder at the same time.

And then there is Andres Cedeno, who is the most athletic member on the team. Tall, fast, long arms, etc.; great physical gifts. He hasn’t been able to capitalize on that athleticism, but at these last few tournaments he's really shown a great grasp of the game and what opponents are going to attempt against him. The maturation process has been a beautiful thing to see with this kid. And then you add his attitude with it. He's a clown, in the most respectful way: always joking and having a good time. And then on the field he doesn't fear anyone. He loves to talk smack, which is somewhat of a USF tradition. The reason that Andres is a key player is that his never-back-down attitude and upper echelon athleticism make him a problem the opposing teams can't solve.

QP: That actually brings up my next question: are there any teams that you hope to face?
Baustin: LBFQ, as previously stated. And every team we played last year, we owe them a better effort than we put forth. I think it'd also be cool to reignite the fireworks we had with Emerson College Quidditch.

QP: That's an old rivalry. Since I venture a lot of people weren't around for that, can you talk a bit about the history behind that rivalry?
Baustin: We beat them at World Cup V to go to the Elite Eight. They were pissed and got into a fistfight on the field (#rumorhasit). Then at World Cup VI, we were in the same pool and Emerson beat us. I wasn't part of the World Cup V victory, just the World Cup VI defeat.

QP: And the rivalry with LBFQ?
Baustin: Alexia Barnes has played for USF since the dawn of time. She moved out to California last summer and joined the LBFQ. We want bragging rights for beating her, and she wants them for beating us. #usfwinseverytime

QP: How would you describe the team's style of play?
Baustin: I would describe our style as versatile; we have the ability to play in any type of game. Whether it's our defense stepping up when our offense is absent, or our offensive output increasing when our defense comes out flat, we do whatever it takes in order to win each individual game.

QP: How are you preparing for World Cup?
Baustin: We will probably watch film of various teams with varying styles in order to make sure our team is prepared for anything and everything.

QP: Anything else you think our readers should know about USF?
Baustin: USF is a team that looks to have fun first, and the best way to have fun is to win, in our opinion. We may not play our best every game, but there's never a moment where my players aren't giving it their all, and that's all I ask of them. See everyone at World Cup 8 in Rock Hill, South Carolina! #chargingbulls #DEFENSE #worldbeaters #findaway #getwellsoonCaptGabe

QP: Thanks, Baustin; we appreciate it.
Baustin: No problem!

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