A Year in Review: Quidditch Canada’s 2016-17 Season – Looking to the Future

Summer is a time for reflecting over the achievements from the past season. The Quidditch Post presents our new seven-part series reviewing the 2016-17 seasons of all 21 league-official Quidditch Canada teams (sorted by final rankings).  

13. University of Toronto Centaurs – Lisa Tubb

The University of Toronto Centaurs found themselves in a similar situation to the Waterloo Ridgebacks at the start of the season, with a key player missing from their roster. With elite beater Sarah Basciano leaving for Valhalla Quidditch, the team had also lost a great co-captain and veteran of the game. At the unofficial Fall Classic hosted by UTSC Phoenix, the rookie-filled team struggled, as all do in their first major event, yet managed to become a more cohesive unit as the day passed. However, during the Ravens Rumble later in October, the Centaurs were seeded against traditionally physical teams the Waterloo Ridgebacks and Carleton Ravens, which resulted in an extensive point difference.

Centaurs chaser tailing Queen’s keeper Matthew Askett | Photo Credit: Ben Holland Photography

By the Eastern Regional Championship, their chemistry had increased and there was stronger cohesion between beaters and chasers. On Day One, the Centaurs beat the higher-seeded Quidditch Lionel-Groulx 110*-90 and managed to run up the score within a 30point range before a snitch catch during their game against Royal City Quidditch, despite taking the loss (120*-60). Other hardwon battles include wins against Ryerson Quidditch (70-50*) and UTSC (90*-60).

While these games speak to the development of skill and chemistry fostered during the regional championship, the majority of their beating style took on a defensive approach a legacy left behind by Basciano but lacked the execution it had when she was on the team. The beaters hardly accompanied or provided any kind of support for their chasers, and as a result, opposing teams that favoured driving and one-time quick dunks often took advantage of this conservative defense. For the upcoming season, the Centaurs will need to focus on more beater-chaser cohesion, which will fast-track their progress in achieving better cooperation and flow on the pitch.

14. Quidditch Lionel-Groulx – Julien Bernier

Editor’s Note: Julien Bernier plays for Quidditch Lionel-Groulx

Quidditch Lionel-Groulx (QLG), a brand-new team, has proved that it deserves to be in Quidditch Canada. This team managed to come out on top on multiple occasions this year and has surprised some with its early success. Unfortunately, this did not last; but despite its disappointing ranking at the end of the season, QLG has a bright future.

The former CEGEP team started its season with a solid performance at Vive Le Quidditch Libre Tournament in Montreal. After playing its first Quidditch Canada game against a formidable McGill Quidditch team, QLG seemed to quickly adapt to the new level of competition and won its last two games of the day against Royal City Quidditch and Skidmore Quidditch. Following this tournament, Quidditch Lionel-Groulx impressed at UTSC’s Fall Classic. With three wins and snitch catches, the team ended up facing Queen’s University Quidditch, where its lack of experience showed and caused it to lose 150*-30 in the final.

Lionel-Groulx keeper Julien Bernier charges through a tackle | Photo Credit: Sarah Breedon

But, the Fall Classic would be the highlight of it season, as QLG then suffered roster issues for the rest of its season, with a lack of numbers at practice and a small roster at tournaments. However, playing against Université de Montréal (UdeM) managed to bring out the best in QLG, as the teams had some history playing as rivals at the CEGEP level. At the Eastern Regional Championship, both games against UdeM came down to a snitch catch, which QLG had trouble with the competition due to their opponent’s experienced beater line.

This will be a team to watch for years to come, despite its disappointing inaugural season. Standout players include Louis-Charles Dupont and Jacinthe Pilette, who proved they could be a dominating beater line; their ability to open lanes for chasers was the cause of many of QLG’s goals. Sadly, they will not be returning to QLG, as they will try out for UdeM for the 2017-18 season. QLG will need to make a major push for recruitment, as the majority of the team will not be returning.

15. University of British Columbia Quidditch Club (UBCQC) – Nathan Ross

For all the success that its parent club had, UBCQC had a frustrating year. The team has so many right parts going for it, but attendance issues and injuries plagued the team throughout, and as a result the team could never quite come together the way it potentially could have.

UBCQC boasts an impressive roster, and there is no question that the skill is there. It showed during the Western Regional Championship, where the team was within an overtime snitch catch of medalling. The team boasts one of the most underrated chasers in Canada in Kathy Kwan, whose diminutive size hides her ability to get physical and how she can shoot the quaffle with pinpoint accuracy. UBCQC also had stalwart beaters Ardy Ferguson, Brandon Rivas, and Erica Milley all play for it throughout the year, although rarely all three at the same time.

UBCQC beater Ardy Ferguson faces off against a Mavericks chaser | Photo Credit: JYK Photography

However, the aforementioned injuries and attendance cost the team. Look no further than UBCQC’s play in QCON, where the team started the season by forfeiting three of its first four games. The team then ended its season by having some of its best players scooped up by UBC Thunderbirds for the National Championship in Victoria. With such a depleted roster, it is unfortunately no surprise UBCQC finished last, losing out to Simon Fraser University Quidditch (SFU) for seventh. After both those teams put on a hard-fought match at the regional championship for bronze, its loss to SFU (another team marred by injuries and inconsistent attendance) was the end of a season it would probably like to put behind it.

This team is much better than it shows on paper there is no question about that. However, at the end of the season, it is the result on paper that stick out. UBCQC showed what it could do with a full roster and when it was firing on all cylinders, and that should be what it holds on to from this season and strive for as it progresses.

This article is part of a series of season recaps. The next part of our series will recap the seasons of the University of Victoria Valkyries, Canada’s Finest Quidditch Club, and UTSC Phoenix.