Harriton’s Inaugural Quidditch Cup
Drew Krane, Staff Writer
November 17, 2011 • 1,099 views
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The first annual Quidditch Tournament at Harriton High School was the brainchild of student council president Bryan Ellis. In an effort to instill more spirit into our lives, the student council set out to create a Harry Potter day culminating in a spirited athletic contest of quidditch.
Mrs. Cooke, student council sponsor commented, “The student council committees really pulled together to organize this event in a way that would last, be exciting, and be fun. We try many new ways to get kids excited about school or events, and this certainly worked. This really all started with Bryan’s speech last year for president, and he wanted to do it. I said ‘make good on your speech.’”
The tournament created so much excitement that it had to be ended early for fear of injury. After a night of competitive fun and hysteria, Quidditch night ended abruptly and the players and fans were sent home early with no determined champion.
Harriton Quidditch took off, figuratively of course. The pool noodles they hold between their legs will not make them fly, although they wish they did. The snitch is not a flying ball, but a runner who sprints around the school fending away the seekers. The game looked like a mix between football, rugby, dodgeball, and soccer. And everyone came away wanting more.
Made famous by the world of Harry Potter, quidditch has made its way into many high schools and colleges around the world. The game consists of five types of players: Chaser, Beater, Keeper, Seeker, and the Snitch. Three Chasers handle the Quaffle (a volleyball) and try to throw it in one of three hoops to score 10 points. The Keeper defends the hoops, like a goalie. Meanwhile, two Beaters handle Bludgers (small soccer balls) and try to hit the opposite players. If they hit an opposing player, that person has to drop whatever ball they are holding and run back to their goal posts, touch one, and then can resume play. To end the game, the Seeker has to catch the Snitch. The Snitch carries a tennis ball that when caught by the Seeker, ends the game. He or she can do whatever is necessary to make sure the Seeker does not catch the ball. Once the Snitch is caught, the game is over and 30 points are awarded to the Seeker’s team.
With the rules taken into account, the main spectacle was the tryouts for the Quidditch teams. With a turnout of over 90 people, the tryouts were nothing but exciting. During each RAM period for a week, each captain ran drills testing each person’s skills: throwing, catching, defending, and running. At the end of the week, the 30 players were chosen for the 4 house teams.
Monday night, the stage was set. The gym was transformed into a Hogwarts Quidditch pitch, complete with pillars emblazoned with house crests, the goal hoops, announcers, and many spectators.
The first match of the night was between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff. Gryffindor started off strong, leading with a 30-0 lead. But Hufflepuff gained momentum with a goal from Keeper Drew Krane, which was shortly followed by the catch of the Snitch by Dimitri Koukos, causing Hufflepuff to win the match 40-30.
The next match between Slytherin and Ravenclaw ended wtih Slytherin seeker Jacob Eidenger catching the snitch, and winning the match for Slytherin.
Ravenclaw vs. Gryffindor turned out to be a game all about Gryffindor. Gryffindor Seeker Max Norris was constantly abused by the Ryan Smith the Snitch. The game started getting violent when Ravenclaw’s Jackie Milestone was thrown by Gryffindor’s Carly Scher. Ravenclaw caught the snitch, but Gryffindor ended up winning 140-40.
The next match was between Slytherin and Hufflepuff. It was a low scoring game, with a score of 40-20 after Slytherin’s Seeker once again caught the Snitch.
After a short intermission, Quidditch resumed with Hufflepuff vs. the underdog: Ravenclaw. The first ejection of the night came when Hufflepuff Chaser Michael Maj hit Ravenclaw Chaser Won Chung. The game resumed and Dimitri Koukos won it again for Hufflepuff: 60-20 final score.
The last match before the finals was Gryffindor vs. Slytherin. Gryffindor was up 30-10 before Slytherin Chaser Maddie Pisanai and Gryffindor Chaser Paul Lee collided, sending Maddie to the ground. A scuffle resulted between Slytherin and Gryffindor players, which prompted action from teacher supervisors. As a result, the rest of the night was cancelled due to safety concerns for the players. However overall the event was considered to be a success.
Ms. Cooke commented after the event: “The thing we always learn with a new event are things we can make better. I was excited. I thought quidditch generated a level of enthusiasm we like to see in students, both the spectators and the players. The tournament ended simply because it was such a spirited competition. Students weren’t angry or mean, just the competitive spirit took over. The responsible thing to do was to quell the heat of competition and say, “lets meet another day”. It was wise to do that before anyone was hurt. However this is not the end of quidditch at Harriton. We had a follow-up meeting with the players that was great because they came up with suggestions on how to improve and make this better. As for future games? Nothing is scheduled yet. But it’s winter, and we need outdoor fields.”
Although the games ended sooner than expected, there is agreement that the student council has hit on a great idea.