By Nathan Keil | Sports Writer
The tournament will play host to eight teams, divided into two pools. Pool No. 1 consists of Calvary, Tribe, Death Row and Osos, Baylor’s B team.
Pool No. 2 consists of Sam Houston State University, Baylor, University of North Texas and Victoria.
However, even though both of Baylor’s teams are playing in opposite pools, the Osos team is considered an “unofficial” team and will be moved to the consolation bracket at the start of pool play. Even though it cannot compete for overall tournament championship, it can still compete for the consolation bracket title.
Baylor will have several challenges it will have to overcome heading into the tournament. Kennedale senior beater Blake Stroncek believes that preparation and practice time could be a significant factor in determining this weekend’s outcome.
“Our biggest challenge heading into this tournament will be the lack of practice beforehand,” Stroncek said. “Due to Baylor’s schedule and the recent rain, we have only had about two and a half practices between the end of break and Brooms on the Brazos.”
Stroncek also echoed that the team has been shifting its roster around since its last tournament and team chemistry may not be at its best on Saturday.
“The loss of a few players and some players being moved between rosters will make it a little tougher to find our usual chemistry on the field,” Stroncek said. “Even so, we have a great team, and our competition will likely be in the same situation as us.”
Kingfisher, Okla. sophomore Shane Soudek believes that Baylor’s athleticism is good enough to compete with anyone and hopes the home crowd can provide the lift to help it grind out matches.
“Even though we’re a young team, we’re an athletic team, and we can compete with any opponent as long as we play our game,” Soudek said. “This tournament is also at home for us, and we expect a lot of support which will push us to victory.”
Regardless of the challenges that Baylor Quidditch faces heading into the tournament, the expectations are high and its sights are set on winning a championship.
“I expect this to be a hard-fought tournament, but I have no doubt that Baylor Quidditch can make the finals and that the Osos will be in the finals for the consolation bracket,” Stroncek said. “I have high hopes that both our teams can overcome adversity and come out of the weekend with a great performance and a couple of trophies.”
Brooms on the Brazos is set to begin at 8 a.m Saturday. Osos will take on Calvary on Field No. 1 beginning at 8:45 a.m., while Baylor will take on North Texas beginning at 8 a.m. on Field No. 2.