The Central Michigan Centaurs snatched first place at the season opening Quidditch tournament on Saturday, beating Michigan State University in overtime.
“We played great,” said team captain David Wilber, a Battle Creek senior. ”We’ve exceeded my expectations and I already had pretty high expectations. We’re passing and shooting, and our beaters are doing great. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
CMU took a quick lead, but an MSU seeker grabbed the snitch to tie the game at 110. However, it came down to CMU’s seeker, Muskegon senior Jeffrey Fisher, who captured the snitch during overtime, making it a 150-110 win for the Centaurs.
“I can barely describe it. Words fail me,” Fisher said. “It’s the best thing in the world to know you were a major part of the reason your team won. We did incredible. This is the most coherent the team has ever been. Everything just came together and every piece is clicking.”
Multiple injuries, penalties, yellow cards and even a red card resulting in Wilber being ejected from the final game revealed how intense Quidditch, based on the sport in the “Harry Potter” novels, can be.
Ashley Calhoun, a Homer senior and team captain, pointed out a change with team players as contributors to the stiff competition.
“The competition is different this year,” she said. “Every team has new recruits so you’re not sure what the teams came with. Every team has a clean slate.”
Before the tournament, each team played three pool games to determine rankings. The Centaurs went undefeated and hit personal milestones along the way.
“We had a couple really amazing dunk shots and big hits that fired the team up,” Wilber said. “In our first game, we had a shutout. It was the second one we’ve ever had, so that was exciting.”
This year, the Quidditch team has more members than ever before, resulting in the need for two teams. In addition to the Centaurs, the Whomping Willows (CMU’s B-team) also took the field on Saturday.
The Whomping Willows held their own during the pool games and won against Michigan State’s B team as well, but ultimately lost the first round of the tournament.
“For the B team, this is the first time actually playing together as a team.,” Grand Blanc junior Joel Kulchar said. “We’re getting the hang and feel of it. I’m feeling pretty good about the future.”
The B team is prepared to make the necessary improvements and go further in the next seven tournaments.
“We need to work on communication, passing and getting a hard drive down the field to the hoops, and also not hesitating to throw the ball,” said Novi junior Emily Patterson. ”We did that a few times toward the end and I think that hurt us.”