by Alex Benepe | September 28th, 2011
Game 1: 140-40 KU
Game 2: 80-40 KU
Game 3: 90-60 MU
Detailed captain’s accounts are below, but first I must remark upon the photographs taken by Jerry Wang, that are possibly the most epic images ever taken of a quidditch match in the history of the game. Jerry has captured the sense of epic struggle in the game, and frozen it in timeless images that bring to mind the battle scenes depicted in Greek temple pediments.
Click on the logo here to go to his website and see even more.
KU Captain Doug Whiston describes the games:
We had two reasons for hosting the Border Showdown: 1) Our schools have a historical rivalry that dates back to the Civil War when Quantrill’s Raiders razed Lawrence, KS in the Lawrence Massacre. 2) We wanted to give Mizzou and our new players a taste of what tournament play would feel like since both of our teams are attending the Midwest Regionals. We felt this would be an accurate preview for both of our teams. This was Mizzou’s first intercollegiate match also, so we wanted them to not be caught off guard at the Regionals.
I was very surprised at how quickly Mizzou was picking up and matching our play in the first game. And I know the final score makes it look like we trounced them, but it actuality, they were playing great. The end to the first game was spectacular. Nick Caldwell was our seeker at that time and he made a diving, mid-air snitch grab.
The second game was a blur. Both teams quickly scored and we were putting up quick numbers on both side. It got to be 50-40 and then we caught the snitch. It was a kinda strange game because of how quickly it went.
The third game was a fun to watch. Nick Caldwell was now playing the Snitch and man he was really fun to watch. When he returned to the field, he basically used his wrestling background and wrestled the seekers to the ground whenever they’d get near. Both seekers were smaller than him too so he was able to do whatever he wanted, including jumping through hoops, etc.
We had to sub our seeker out there because he was just getting too exhausted and couldn’t wrestle with him any longer. And then during a wrestle with our seeker, the Mizzou seeker snuck up from behind and sealed the victory for Mizzou.
Two big players in this game were Hai Nguyen and Nick Caldwell. Hai is a great chaser and almost always wins the ball and makes plays happen for us. It’s been quite a relief having him on the team. Another big player was Nick, who I mentioned earlier. He played well at chaser, seeker, and snitch. He’s not afraid to body into the opponent’s keeper zone which provides us with some close easy shots.
Mizzou Captain Erin Weinrick, from her perspective:
We originally met KU at the Hog’s Head Invitational, which a few of us went down to watch. They were super nice and we decided that if our football teams can have one of the most baller rivalry games, at the border, we could too. So, the Quidditch Border Showdown was created! KU was nice enough to host. Mizzou hasn’t allowed us club status (or
funding) yet, so it definitely worked out better with us traveling to Kansas.
I’ve talked with the team and we decided that the highlight of the showdown was definitely winning our first ever match, even if we lost the series. It was our first time playing another team, so we’re pretty proud. Jesse Johnson, one of our seekers (the other is Xan Kellogg, who seeks until the Snitch is on the pitch), won it for us with the best snatch ever! Jerry has a pretty great photo where Jesse is holding the snitch in the air. The other highlights were the “jorts” squad – a group of three guys on our team who wore ridiculous
jean shorts, displaying their lovely tan lines – and getting cookies from KU. Honestly, every time we scored was a highlight for us. KU’s seeker had a very impressive diving snatch though. Another memorable moment was Sarah Graman’s injury (a KU player ended up with a red card and Sarah now sports a wicked black eye).
We had a small group consistently putting the quaffle through KU’s hoops – Kevin Grieb (Chaser, Team Captain), Ryan Toarmina (Chaser), David Nordwald (Keeper, Co-Captain), and Walter Carlson (Utility player – obviously scored while playing Chaser, but played a good amount of time as a Beater). Those guys were declared top players of the game, along with Michelle Rathe (Chaser), who got in a few hits and assists, Jesse Johnson (Seeker), and Blake Hildebrand (Utility Player).
The team was not very helpful in providing lines that could be quoted. It was mostly friendly rivalry trash talking (“What does ‘Rock Chalk Jayhawk’ even mean?” and the classic, but inappropriate “M-I-Z-F-K-U”). When we were psyching ourselves up for the match, one of our players said “Manifest Destiny! It’s in the books, we wrote it”, which we’re still yelling at each other.
KU President Nicole Denney’s take on things:
The first game was pretty brutal. We had the home court advantage as many of our teammates invited family members and the school advertised our showdown in the paper. So we had a very large cheering crowd compared to MUs. We were pumped up for the first one! When the snitch came back, it was a race to get him. Then, our seeker Nicholas Caldwell caught the snitch in midair! He dove and without tackling the actual person, caught the ball. KU won with the final score of 140-40. The crowd went wild.
In the second game, we had a different seeker, Aaron Pope, who caught the snitch not only once, but three times in under five minutes! The first catch was caught off the field while he was still looking for the snitch. We decided it was kind of unfair because the MU seeker was unaware of when to start looking. So we kept playing. Aaron caught the second snitch almost right away, but it too was some how ruled unfair. Then, finally, Aaron made the third catch. This game was quick and even after three snitch grabs, we won.
The other highlight would be our snitch, Nicholas Caldwell, who played snitch in the last match. Nick was a varsity football player and wrestler in high school. Getting away from people was no problem for him. We was able to wrestle people away from him and avoid being caught for a long time. He also managed to cleanly jump right through a hoop and land and continue running. We have a picture of that, too. Finally, he was caught by an MU seeker, giving them the final win.