September 1, 2001 - The Spell Binder goes up, the one all the students have been waiting for. This is the Spell Binder that finally explains quidditch. Knowing this will let you know whether or not you have the skills to be on the team or not.
This is also the date on which I would first become officially involved with quidditch. I was PMed by our dear Laffy a few days earlier, and she asked me if I wanted to be captain for the team. I accepted and was so excited and surprised that I was actually going to be captain, I didn’t even think I would make the team. I told only a few of my close friends, as it wasn’t supposed to be released to the public. All my friends were students, but the one professor I told was Xanthos. He decided to help with the team and worked with Laffy to become the coach. Then on September 1st it was announced that I was captain.
Laffy and I showed up for a staff meeting one Saturday but because of a net split both ended up on a different server. After several failed attempts to rejoin the staff they decided to just talk there. I had already heard that Matt was going to be named captain and had never really met Laffy before then. Just as I entered the text asking if he could work with Matt, Laffy offered me the position. Thus, I became the first Coach at HOL who worked with the team captain.
Matt and I talked strategy all the time. We also talked about how we would run our team and what things were important to us. Of course we wanted to win the cup, who wouldn’t? I personally felt that if we did the best we could, played by the rules and made friends along the way we’d win no matter what the final standings were. I told Matt that even before the first game. We realized that many people wanted to play. And we decided we would do our best to somewhat rotate people so that more people would have a chance to play.
We got people to join the team and held practices. Even from the first season we went with a policy of not having tryouts. We decided that anyone who wanted to be on the team and showed up to practice was automatically on the team, but just not necessarily going to play. I had picked Mary Potter, the second best player on the team, as co-captain. At that point, the captains didn’t do much with the team, it was more just Xan.
We managed to win two games the first year, back to back wins against Hufflepuff and Slytherin. We sure enjoyed those, but winning wasn’t really our main priority. During the first year, our team developed its own personality, which hasn’t really changed, though the personalities within the team may change. We’ve always believed in trying to do what’s right, follow the rules, and have fun. We’ve learned through the years of other teams doing things not quite within the rules, but our team (and not just the captains or coaches, the whole team subscribes full heartedly to this) has always refused to follow along, even if it puts us at a disadvantage. This along with not being quite as strict about practices and who is allowed on the team has probably led to the fact that our record hasn’t been as great as we’d like it to be, but we really don’t have any plans on changing how things are done. We want the team to be fun for as many people as possible. It’s a game after all.
Towards the end of the year, Matt and I received some bad news that due to real life time conflicts, Xanthos would no longer be able to coach the team the next year. I decided I wanted to have a team surprise present for him, though was faced with the problem of I didn’t think that I was supposed to tell anyone about him leaving yet. I came up with a plan to have everyone on the team just write appreciation notes to him, and also to Matt for all the hard work they did. Then I got resident web genius and at the time a team member Conary Barclay to turn it into a webpage.
After the last game, Xanthos made his announcement to everyone, which no one took too well. But we decided to have a party at some point as one last good-bye. The organization apparently fell through on that one (I had something come up at the last second and missed it), and not that many people were able to come, but the webpage present was given out at it and posted on the Cheeze. To my surprise there were also notes for me on it. Apparently Con and Zeek Sorcuss went behind my back and also got everyone to send in messages about me. It was really special to see that appreciation coming from everyone, I probably cried. I also was voted Eagle’s Talont winner for the year by the team. That one really shocked me. I definitely wasn’t the best player on the team, but having my teammates vote and pick me for the work I did really meant a lot to me and touched me.
Over the summer we searched along with Laffy for a new coach. We finally decided on Flea and Prof. Argumentus (Chris) as co-coaches. We lost some great players after the first year, the most notable being the great Godric’s Ghost, but we also picked up some great players. At the end of the first year Matt had been chosen to take over as seeker for me, but we wanted to find someone else since Matt’s such a great trivia player, we wanted him on quaffle. We ended up recruiting Rhiannon Llewellyn to be our new seeker. She unfortunately ended up carrying on the great Ravenclaw seeker tradition started back in our very first game of having horrible luck that overshadows talent. She too then succumbed to the real life interfering with quidditch problem, and had to stop as seeker. Eventually we found our new seeker though, Leah Samson/Faye Laramie.
We managed to win only one game, against Slytherin, and unfortunately it was a controversial win, making it a little harder to enjoy. But we showed throughout the year that we have a great amount of heart and talent, the team kept fighting throughout the year, never gave up hope, and anyone who knows what they’re looking for could see the talent was there.
This summer we’ve had an amazing number of people sign up to enjoy. We know all won’t continue, but to have this many is great when at the end of last year we were struggling to get together 7 players for a match, the last few were played often with 1 or no reserves. We have some great talent on the team, both from old players and newbies (which is surprising, usually it takes some time to get newbies up to the level some are at, though it's probably at least partially due to the Summer Quidditch League). There’s a lot of dedication, with some players spending hours a day botting. So everyone’s very optimistic for this upcoming season.
On the Rise
My first year as a HOL student began in July 2002. All I did then was sign up, do a few classes, and browse HOL an hour or two a week. I vaguely remember asking about Quidditch in the old old Roost forum and getting an answer from Matt Whisp, then Head Boy and Quidditch Captain. Unfortunately, my interest wasn't really peaked so much and I never did show up for practice that year. Then I saw my first Quidditch game on CGI. I was yelling out answers to my friends, finally realizing that yes, I can do Quidditch.
Summer Quidditch League first formed in 2003. My cousin Ryan Lobiesk and I were very interested in playing with a team. Even as we were soon entering our second year, we were still social newbies; we wanted to make friends, and most importantly, we wanted to try this game out. A Gryffindor Quidditch Team member, Artemis Beaoulve, took Ryan and me under her wing. Along with Gryffindors Moiraine Katsumi Lee, Godric de Mimsy Porpignions, Suki Kohana, and various other members of the team that I can't seem to remember (and I apologize), Ryan and I took to practicing in the Wimbourne Wasps channel. Our first game was against Appleby Arrows, where the members back then consisted of the famous Seven Ashitaka, Missa Matz, and half of the overly skilled GQT members. Had I known at the time who I was facing against, I probably would have had a nervous breakdown. As a newbie playing on mIRC, however, with absolutely no information on the "Who's Who" of HOL, I took the beater position and managed two answers right against Seven. We lost, but I received p2ps from two people that day; one from Leah Samson and the second from the ever illustrious Rames. What for? Both suggested I should join my House Quidditch team.
So I showed up for practice and dragged Ryan along. It was an instant addiction. Ryan and I playfully competed against each other, trying to skillfully and speedily get ahead. I didn't have a problem with my typing speed. But darn, the trivia was hard. When I practiced on the bots, it was alongside veterans Leah and October Jackson (who, even until this day, is the person I've always called the 'Quidditch Goddess'). I remember Leah's indignation when the question "What is Comic Relief's charity registration number?" came up. At that time, the answer would have been a rather difficult combination to remember. The answer is 326568. And that was off the top of my head.
The beater position was my debut, and personally, that is still my favorite position today. I think Matt was right to start me off on that, even when it was against the dreaded GQT. As a beater's job, I was expected to try blocking Seven before he could get to Toby. But even in my fear, frustration, and panic, Matt and Kim would reassure me that it was fine and I should calm down; Seven's really a cute little teddy bear anyway, he's not that scary.
I can't begin to describe the amount of fun I had with the RQTers of that age-old time. But I do remember the great solidarity that we had as a team. Even during formal non-speaking practices, we still found ways to amuse the host (mainly Matt) by renicking into breakfast foods, fruits, or vegetables. We used our mascot Ryan "the puffskein" for bludger practice. We found new meaning to terms such as "preppy," "riding the pine," and "Oliver Wood." We almost turned the "Egg Song" and "Little Red Monkey" into anthems. We stuck through the "Cute War" together and, well...that became a part of history *g* There is no right amount of words to describe how much I owe the better captains before me. Matt and Kim truly are great leaders, and the work they have put to the existence of RQT can fill volumes of books. Once everyone I knew from that era of RQT moved on in real life, I couldn't help feeling sad. They'll always be remembered, the ones I've talked to on the phone and laughed with online. From time to time I mention the old RQTers, but besides Matt, Leah, and Nuvi, nobody really remembers Toby, or Kim, or Hari, or Pippa and her adorable son WYATT.
In the span of 5 years, RQT has always had the knack of attracting eager Ravenclaws with speed and some trivia skill (Mark Mandrake, Sophia Manasa, and Sayuri Anderson are just the far and few). For those thinking that RQT has survived on raw talent, guess again. Practice makes close to perfect. My main example is Maya Winters. Where Ryan and Matt were the Quidditch monsters of old, Maya is that highly speedy Ravenclaw who now strikes fear---and respect---in the hearts of every Quidditch player that has ever had the honor of going against her---myself included. As the other co-captain (when Ryan stepped down as Captain shortly after Matt, he had appointed two co-captains), Maya's relentless dedication even in times of insanity and high levels of stress has kept me afloat. When I was at the point of a meltdown, she'd help cheer me up again. When she spoke of taking a HOL hiatus due to RL constraints, I tried my best to work things out and ease the stress from her. We are, in every respect, a duumviri (as Ulol would say). There is no better person I would have been willing to lead this generation of RQTers with than Maya.
Two years in the bottom, one year rising to second place, and four Quidditch Cups to our name, RQT truly does have quite a hefty history. The best part was our journey to the top, because it was one heck of a ride *g*
The Legacy Continues
After a year of adjusting to two new co-captains and many new members, RQT had a strong roster at the beginning of the summer. Veterans Kyrie Adderholt, Tara Aurelium, Maya Winters, Prof. Cassandra Lobiesk, Alexia Riaper, and Prof. Mark Mandrake all returned to play. Experienced players Karen Circa, Kiri Galdor, and Maravillas Arrington also came back for another season. The team took on probably its largest number of new players with the addition of Alcina Major, Amelia Fadden, Amy Lupin, Arielle Lemoyne, Bella Coupland, Celeste Cordelia, Dean Fuaddy, Edmund Smethwyck, Kirra Rohan, Scarlet Irisa, Silmarien Szilagyi, and Solix Fortis.
The team kicked off their year with eight weekly practices. They added several new training methods including Tailviews, icky sets, and RQT survivor. Kyrie and Tara also added Blue vs. Bronze games where the team was split in half to play against each other. The team had two of these matchups throughout the year and greatly enjoyed the fun and challenging games.
The new members were quick to jump into practices and botting and were soon challenging the older players. Maravillas Arrington, Amy Lupin, Arielle Lemoyne, Dean Fuaddy, Edmund Smethwyck, Kirra Rohan, and Scarlet Irisa all made stellar debuts this year. These included some stand-out performances throughout the year. In addition to two MVP awards, including one in her first game, Arielle Lemoyne quickly earned a starting spot in the team’s line up and finished third in the 1v1 Pro tournament. Edmund Smethwyck, winner of the 1v1 Pro tournament, filled the role of RQT’s main keeper with an insane blocking percentage of 81%. Scarlet Irisa and Kirra Rohan also had impressive first years on the team finishing second and third in the 1v1 Non-Pro tournament.
Tara Aurelium and Maya Winters also brought home MVP awards this year due to their outstanding chasing performances. Tara earned hers against Gryffindor with 25 goals out of 28 chances for a goal percentage of 89.3%. Maya came out of retirement in the team’s only game against Slytherin and scored 26 of the team’s 34 goals earning her her ninth MVP award.
The team had a great season with very little drama and lots of new traditions. With team Skype calls during practice, Apples to Apples games, voting people off islands, Kirra losing pants, Arielle’s inability to type her own name, Edmund being a graceful lady on drugs, three Amys, and countless other memories, the team had a fun and successful season they will never forget. On top of all of the fun they had together, they managed to win all five games and enjoy another championship.