Quidditch team forms bonds despite falling short of goal

Kumail Durrani

The Texas Quidditch team left the field heartbroken — their year-long goal of winning a fourth-straight championship wouldn’t come to fruition.

Unable to secure the snitch, the Longhorns ultimately lost 60-90, getting the quaffle — a volleyball — through one of the three hoops just six times and failing to haul in the snitch — represented by a guy in yellow with a velcro tail attatched to his shorts — to end the game, bringing their tournament to an end with a loss to Ball State in the Sweet Sixteen.

While the four-day trip to Columbia, South Carolina, ended in disappointment, the team members took positives from a long season of growing close together both on and off the Quidditch field.

“The highlight of the trip for me was exploring a new city with some my closest friends,” said Michael Duquette, sport management senior and captain of the Texas Quidditch team. “No matter how each of us was introduced to Quidditch or where we come from, we’re just a large family.”

History junior Austin Dickson, one of the team’s chasers, was introduced to the sport during a tabling event.

“For me, Quidditch was able to provide a combination of everything I was looking for,” said Dickson. “It was a physical sport with a friendly group of people and an interesting back-story.”

Through the Quidditch team, Dickson was able to meet his current roommate, fellow teammate and civil engineering junior Nicholas Marino, who joined for his love of competition and his desire to be a part of something larger.

“I played lots of sports in high school,” Marino said. “I wanted to pick an outlet to exercise my sports ambitions through, and I thought Quidditch would be perfect due to its team aspect.”

Most people know Quidditch as the sport from Harry Potter, but to the team, the sport has grown beyond that. Alex Hoffman, a psychology junior and fan of Texas Quidditch, said he enjoys the adaptation from literature to reality.

“As a fan of the books and films, I never thought I would see Quidditch come to life,” said Hoffman. “But actually watching a seeker chase after a snitch is surreal.”

After graduating in May, Duquette will participate on the United States National Quidditch team as part of the International Quidditch Association World Cup in Frankfurt, Germany.

Following a bid at a gold medal, Duquette plans on retiring from Quidditch. 

“I will always love and follow the sport, but it’s time for me to move on with my life and pursue a career,” Duquette said.

Although the Quidditch team’s season came to an end before closing out a fourth straight championship, only four players are graduating, energizing hopes that next season’s team will be just as competitive.

“Next year’s team will be very similar to how it was this year,” said Duquette. “Even though our season just ended, I’m excited to see how next year’s team does.”