By Branson Hardcastle | Reporter
Baylor Quidditch hosted its fourth annual Brooms on the Brazos tournament Saturday at the River Bend Park Ballfields. The tournament saw 11 teams compete in the tournament, including multiple teams from the Southwest region of US Quidditch, which gave Baylor a chance to see how it stacks up against each other early in the season. Some of the teams that competed include Texas Quidditch, the Victoria Spartans, Texas State University and Texas Cavalry.
Fans and teams were scattered around the fields all day watching and cheering. Some fans even dressed up as wizards to watch their favorite teams in action.
Fort Worth junior beater and Baylor Quidditch president James Carey said they hold this tournament for that reason: to get quidditch more recognition and for fans to enjoy the games.
“We like to bring the Harry Potter Fandom and the people around Baylor to come to our tournament. It is a way for people to get excited about the game even if they don’t play,” Carey said. “It is a good way for our entire organization to come out get experience and get excited about the upcoming season.”
The tournament started at 8 a.m. with pool play. There were three pools consisting of three or four teams per pool. The pool play was used to seed the teams in bracket play later in the day. The games were played on multiple fields and happened simultaneously.
The caliber of teams that attended the tournament was high, according to Carey.
“Here right now we have four or five teams that made it to the national tournament including both of the finalists in the national tournament. There are several up and coming teams that are prepared to make it to nationals this year as well,” Carey said. “It will be a difficult tournament to navigate through.”
Baylor ended pool play with a 3-0 record and managed to lock down the No. 2 seed for the bracket. The University of Texas Quidditch earned the No. 1 seed and Texas Cavalry finished with the No. 3 seed.
In their first rounds of bracket play, UT, Cavalry, Lone Star Quidditch Club and Baylor all won handily over their opponents. In the semi-finals, UT battled Lone Star and Baylor took on Calvary.
UT beat Lone Star in what was a physical and fast-paced game. There were multiple fast breaks that ended in scores for UT. Lone Star tried to slow the game down with its physicality, but UT’s offense was too much as it downed Lone Star to reach the championship game.
Baylor and Cavalry was also a fast-paced game. Baylor scored early, but Cavalry came back strong. Cavalry moved the ball well and found holes in Baylor’s defense allowing them to score. Baylor slowed the game down as the game went on, but Cavalry’s offense was too much to overcome. Cavalry pulled the snitch within the first minute of the snitch being on the field, securing its victory over Baylor.
Texas Cavalry beater Cole Travis said Baylor is a good team and will be a team to watch as the season continues.
“They are an up and coming team. They had a bit of a rebuilding team last year but this year I expect them to compete at regionals and make nationals,” Travis said. “They are a team to watch for sure.”
UT and Calvary was a spectacle to watch. UT scored early and often and managed to go up 30-0. Cavalry did not get rattled though and climbed back into the game slowly. Both teams were hitting hard and going after every loose quaffle, the ball used to score. When the snitch entered the game in the 18th minute, the score was tied 80-80. Both seekers were doing everything in their power to pull the snitch, but the snitch kept the game alive by dodging their attacks. After 15 minutes, Cavalry managed to pull the snitch and win the game 130-100, securing the championship.
“Every tournament is a building block for us to get better. We won this tournament last year so it feels good to win it again,” Travis said. “This win was great for our players and it was great for them to know that they can play at the highest level.”
Baylor Quidditch will continue their season Nov. 18 at the A&M Classic in College Station.