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Not-so-Signpost: A league of his own: An interview with a quidditch legend

Freshmen to fifth-year seniors are all familiar with the locker room before the game. The squad huddles together, with each teammate shouting words of encouragement. Confident, and maybe even cocky, the squad grabs their gear and runs to the field, still yelling loudly, until only one member of the team remains.

Weber State Quidditch tryouts will be held on April 31 at 3 a.m.
Weber State Quidditch tryouts will be held on April 31 at 3 a.m. Photo credit: Star Neil

Every teammate can describe the way he sits in the locker room alone. His elbows rested upon his knees with his hands clenched together. Bowing his head, it’s clear he’s getting into the zone. The moment lasts only a minute before he joins his squad, ready for competition. Perhaps that brief meditation is what separates him from every other player in the Big Sky Conference.

Weber State University’s quidditch team has been the standard of excellence in the sport since Waldo Wildcat became captain just three years ago. Dominating in the NCAA, Waldo is showing the rest of the world that American quidditch is just as competitive as in the United Kingdom.

“I started riding my broom at the age of six,” Waldo said. “It wasn’t till my parents took me to the Quidditch world cup that I fell in love with the sport.”

According to experts, Waldo’s speed and small turn radius are unheard of. In a test, Waldo was able to reach speeds of 55 mph before he made a full-180 turn without moving the center of his broomstick.

“As a seeker, I don’t have time to slow down and take big turns,” Waldo said. “The snitch is completely unpredictable, and it’s impossible to develop a game plan in catching it. Overthink your movements and you’ll lose every time.”

Dominating in the NCAA, Waldo is showing the rest of the world that American quidditch is just as competitive as British.
Dominating in the NCAA, Waldo is showing the rest of the world that American quidditch is just as competitive as British. Photo credit: Star Neil

Like hall of fame basketball player Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game and Cincinnati Reds legend Pete Rose’s 4,256 career hits, Waldo has set records that seem unbreakable. Over the course of his 100 matches at Weber State, Waldo has ended the game 82 times by catching the golden snitch.

“I can’t end my career at Weber State with a stat like that,” Waldo said. “82% is a B-, and I’m shooting for an A. With how fast I plan on catching the snitch this season, it might not even be worth it for other squads to suit up.”

Although Waldo has led his team to dominance every year of his reign as captain, the Big Sky has its share of tough competitors.

“You have to physically and mentally prepare yourself for any time you face Victor E. Viking,” Waldo said. “Victor is one of the hardest-hitting beaters the sport has ever seen, and there’s a lot of players on injury reserve who’ll tell you that’s an understatement.”

Montana State’s Champ the Bobcat has also proven to be one of the best chasers in the conference. Champ averaged nearly 20 points a game last season, outscoring the rest of his team in nearly every game.

“I’m always excited for in-conference play,” Waldo said. “Playing against rivals gets the team excited and it gets me excited too. There’s nothing quite like hoisting the Big Sky trophy above your head.”

As one of the sport’s most successful athletes, many have wondered what separates Waldo from his competitors. His athletic ability is obviously unrivaled, but it’s his mentality that makes him the tenacious player he is.

“I take a lot of motivation from former Gryffindor player Oliver Wood,” Waldo said. “When I’m suffering from injuries or when the weather’s bad, I constantly recite that quote: ‘You can’t cancel quidditch.'”

Waldo will suit up with Weber State in the fall. Tryouts will be held April 31 at 3 a.m.

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About the Contributor
Simon Mortensen, Sports Editor