The RIT DarkMarks had a pretty good day yesterday going 3-1 for the day. They started off the day with victories against Syracuse and then Guelph. The third game of the day was a hard fought low scoring game agasinst McGill. The score was 20-10 in favor of McGill when the snitch was caught ending in a 50-10 loss. Lastly the DarkMarks ended the day with a victory against the Cortland quidditch team.
What to take away:
(Note: Thie remaining portion of this article is the singular viewpoint of this editor and not necessarily that of the RIT Quidditch program.)
Any tournament or meet you go to is not only a great time to test you teams strategies and prove the skill of your team but is also a great chance to observe other teams; this allows you to see who has improved from previous years and who could be potential threats in the future.. So without any further explination, here is what I believe can be learned about the teams that were present yesterday.
Cortland has not been a terribly competitive team in the past. This year they are registered as a basic member team and still not a top tier team level, but they are definitely moving in the right direction. The team seems to have found some new talent in a handful of more athletic players. While they still have some work to do before they start to turn any heads, they are clearly moving in the right direction.
Alfred was a new team last year and like most new teams did not pose the biggest of threats at the time. I still wouldn’t predict them to win regionals or anything, but they are a team that has clearly taken strides in the right direction. They seemed to be playing as a much more uniform team this year and have clearly spend some time working on communication and strategy. The real player to watch on this team is there new Keeper, #00. At first sight this player is clearly an thlete and I became interested in seeing what he can do. A good combination of speed and sized mixed with a clear desire to win makes him an excellent keeper and a player who could definitely make waves in the future if he sticks around.
Syracuse is a team that despite being around for some time hasn’t done anything terribly impressive.And while many teams take leaps and bounds forward some years only to fall back others, it seems Syracuse just slowly moves forward. Since I’ve been watching them I’ve never seen them have a breakout year, but I’ve also have never seen them move backwards, or even stand still. Syracuse just seems to be a team that is slowly moving forward one step at a time and each year is just a little bit more threatening. This is no exception. I think there are two players to watch on this team if you want to see good play. #11 is a chaser who at first glance doesn’t look like a major threat, but if you made that assumption you would be wrong. She is the kind of player who is constantly impressing me with her level of play. The other player I’m excited to watch on this team is #5. A chaser who is clearly new to the sport as he doesn’t quite have a solid grasp on all of the rules. However yesterday he displayed a high level of athleticism and I believe after he spends some time learning the rules and understanding some finer points of strategy, he will definitely be a significant player on the team.
Unfortunately I never got to see McGill play last year so I can’t give you a perfect review of how the team has changed.That being said the team I saw didn’t seem at the level necessary to win the Canadian regional tournament. I still believe they are a very powerful team, but it seems like they may have graduated some key talent and are still working out some kinks in their lineup. When communication was good this team was a force to be reckoned with, but the few plays where communication broke down, a few key yellow cards and some unfortunate luck made all the difference for this team. If there is a player to watch on this team, they are on the beater line. I couldn’t give you an exact player but while watching I saw near constant subbing and more importantly any time it looked like one beater was in trouble the other was there to help. There beating game was fierce and definitely a threat to other teams. Between a solid beater core and the amount of travel they are willing to do, McGill is clearly still going to be a threat this year, it’s just a matter of time for the team to get all its communication down to a science.
Canada’s Finest Quidditch Club
Canada’s Finest is similar to Boston Riot or the Silver Pheonixs in that while they are a community team, they function as the B team for a university. In this case they are the McGill B team. The first two things you are likely to notice about this team is that there jerseys say McGill quidditch and they just yelled out something about eating babies in their team chant. Disregard those two facts, they’re unimportant; what you should be focusing on is how close they are in skill level to the official McGill team. Canada’s finest runs a similar strategy set to McGill and runs it almost just as well. At this exact moment in time I couldn’t even tell you who would win between them and McGill because Canada’s Finest seemed to have their communication more set in stone. In time I believe you will see McGill pull ahead, but both teams have to potential to bring home plenty of wins this year. I didn’t get a ton of time to watch their games from the sidelines so I couldn’t give you all the ins and outs of their team, but it seems to me the weakest point is their seeking core, which isn’t all that weak. Canada’s Finest sports three seekers which allows them to frequently sub in a fresh seeker to keep pressure on the snitch. However none of the seekers are terribly big. While they all have good speed and positioning, they struggle when put up against a bigger snitch who likes to throw. Their best seeker is certainly skilled but struggles against larger snitches. If he could put on a little more muscle to avoid getting thrown I think he would find even more success.
When I first saw the name Guelph on the list of attending teams I wasn’t expecting much. As far as I’m aware Guelph is a new team this year, which usually means they will struggle with strategy and not be able to keep with the better teams. But if you walk into a game against them expecting to steamroll a group of scrubs who barely know how to run on a broom, you’re in for a brutal awakening. The team needs some refinement and needs to get a better grasp on the rules, but when they do this team could a be a force to be reckoned with. The team is very athletic which makes them a dominant force on the pitch. The team brings a near constant physical force that gives them amazing potential for the future. The really impressive point for me were their two seekers. They have two young gentlemen who stand at roughly 5’10 and can be briefly described as built. As a snitch I could tell you one of the scariest sights is watching them sub out because that broom gets handed off and they come at you like a bullet from a gun. With two hyper aggressive seekers who have no fear of being thrown, I could see this team making some serious waves as long as they can keep the quaffle game close.
So there you have it, the weekend in review through my eyes. Why some teams are getting better and a couple players to keep tabs on.