Friday, April 3, 2015

80 in 80: 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
Tim Derrick, coach of University of Florida Quidditch (UF).

Quidditch Post: Just three years ago UF was in the finals at World Cup, and this year it was a struggle to qualify seemingly; where do you go from here?
Tim: Well I suppose we'll go to World Cup. We'll give our all and compete, but for me this World Cup is about exposing our rookies to the highest level of play and inspiring them to train harder, especially since the last member of that World Cup V finals team will be leaving after this year.

QP: What do you hope the team takes away from the experience?
Tim: I want them to see first hand the level of play the best teams in the nations have to offer. I want them to use World Cup as a means of motivation to get better for next year. I want them to believe that another finals appearance is not out of reach.

QP: Do you have any particular goals?
Tim: Make it to the second day of competition.

QP: What will that take?
Tim: Everything we've got. We have to give 100 percent from brooms up until the snitch is caught. If we can keep the game in the snitch range, we can win and if we can't do that then we'll move on and play harder.

QP: You recently lost Dre Clements who was one of the teams most well known players for upwards of three years. How will you all replace him?
Tim: As for replacing Dre, that's not something easily done. Team captain Nick Zakoske has stepped up to fill Dre's role, but he's doing it in his own way.

QP: How about key players?
Tim: On the chaser side, we have Tori Robbins, Kenny Stowe, and Jimmy Singer. Tori is, in my opinion, the best female defender in the South region. Jimmy is our quickest pair of legs and an excellent finisher at the hoops, and Kenny is a very tall and very tough chaser that can dunk on most opponents.

On the beater side, we have Adam Treichel, Richard Crumrine, Jared Gaum, and Josh Brown. Between the four of them, they anchor our defense and create offensive opportunities with some big hits on defending beaters.

QP: UF recently merged with University of Central Florida (if I'm not mistaken). Has that had any impact on the team?
Tim: It certainly has. Most importantly the merger has given us much needed depth at all positions to get the team through long tournaments.

QP: World Cup can be an extremely long tournament. Do you think the Swiss Style will have any impact?
Tim: Yeah, I'm not a big fan of the switch to Swiss Style. I understand the reasoning behind it, but I don't like being ignorant of who my opponent is until a half hour or so before brooms up. It makes it incredibly difficult to prepare.

QP: Would you say UF has a particular style of play?
Tim: I would say so. We've always been known as a pass-heavy offense with a tough physical defense although since adopting a Baylor-style defense, that physicality has dropped a bit.

QP: Are there particular teams you hope to face?
Tim: I'd be happy with a rematch with Bowling Green State University.

QP: Any reason in particular?
Tim: Our match against Bowling Green during pool play at World Cup VII was our most intense match of the day and I know our players from last year would love a chance to prove themselves.

QP: Anything else you think our readers should know about UF?
Tim: No matter how well we do at World Cup, I'm just hoping to play some good, clean quidditch against the best teams out there.

QP: Thanks Tim; we appreciate it.
Tim: Anytime. Just let me know if you need anything else.

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