Tuesday, April 7, 2015

80 in 80: Ohio University

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 AJ Davis, captain of the Ohio University Flying Bobcats.

Photo by Hannah Shire
QP: Ohio was the second alternate to get a bid. What does it mean for your team to be able to attend World Cup?
AJ: It's fantastic. We really didn't think we were going to be able to go after falling short at the regional championship but this is a second chance and we are very thankful for it.

QP: How do you think the team has improved since your shortcomings at the regional championship?
AJ: We've added new players and we work as a team now. We no longer give the ball to our best player and hope for the best, we set up plays, offensively and defensively. We communicate more. And now we have a fire in us to take this all the way.

QP: Would you say the team has a style of play?
AJ: Yeah. I would say we have a defensive style. We play smarter not harder, and we often focus more on defensive strategies when going into a tournament. We aren't afraid to slow the game down.

QP: Does the team have any key players?
AJ: Ryan Scott is our star seeker and very well known in the quidditch world, but we've tried to stay away from having stand-alone stars. Of course, there a number of players who we would be lost without.

QP: Do you want to talk about some of those key players?
AJ: Tommy Salas and Alec Pidala are our best chasers. They work in sync and always control the field when they are on together. Jeff July is our new keeper and is the main reason we have rebounded since the regional championship. He's huge and always knows where to be to block the quaffle. And John Williams is a freshman beater who honestly makes the game look easy with precise beating; he is also good at maintaining beater control.

QP: Are there particular teams you hope to face?
AJ: Our rivals Miami University. But truthfully, we are excited to play anyone. It would be fun to see how we do against the University of Texas at Austin or Maryland Quidditch.

QP: What are your goals for World Cup, now that you've qualified?
AJ: Practice until we can't practice any longer. We need to make sure we have our plays ready and that we are in shape to take on some of the best teams out there.

QP: Do you have any goals as far as the result?
AJ: We want to go 2-3 the first day and make an appearance in bracket play.

QP: Do you think the Swiss Style will have any impact on that?
AJ: At the Glass City Classic in Toledo, Ohio, we got a taste of the Swiss Style format, and we went 2-2 with half our starting roster. I think the new style will allow smaller, newer teams like us to have more of an impact than the traditional pool play.

QP: What do you hope the team takes away from the experience?
AJ: We just want to learn from the other teams and have some fun along the way. If we can get an upset or two in as well, then it's a good day. This is really a learning experience for us.

QP: Is there anything else you want our readers to know about the team?
AJ: Not to underestimate us. We may be a small Midwest team that got in at the last minute, but we are dedicated and determined to do well and we are coming to World Cup with the intent to win.

QP: Thank you for your time, we appreciate it!

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