UCA Quidditch Team Takes Flight

The UCA Quidditch team’s logo

A group of students has taken their love for all things Harry Potter and channeled it into bringing some wizardry to UCA through an official Quidditch team.

UCA’s Quidditch team began as a group of friends who wanted to do something fun together.

“The group was originally a Harry Potter fan club/sports team, but as we realized the importance of trying to keep the sport of Quidditch alive, it has morphed itself into a full-fledged team in preparation for regional competitions,” sophomore and Quidditch President Jeffrey Homstad said.

Homstad is a transfer student from Texas A&M, where he also played on a Quidditch team.

“After transferring here, I knew I had to create another team,” Homstad said. “While walking around campus the first week, I had noticed there was a flier for a Quidditch Meeting in the Student Center and was blown away; someone else was wanting to start up the club, too.”

That person was freshman Madison Johnson. She, Homstad and three others collectively “founded” the group.

“First, we organized the bare bones of the organization, and then we advertised for about a month for our first meeting,” Johnson said. “When everyone showed up, we realized we would all be great friends and the team became a real thing.”

Johnson was named “headmistress,” and four founding fathers were named: Homstad as the Gryffindor founding father, Jennifer France as the Slytherin founding father, Danielle Bishop as the Slytherin founding father and Bethany Hollis as the Hufflepuff founding father.

During this transition, Homstad said the team lost two of its founding fathers and underwent a major overhaul at the beginning of the spring semester, electing a coach, an assistant coach, four team captains (one for each house), a team manager and a marketing and fundraising team.

Homstad said the team has since been refocusing its direction to find more athletes interested in a fun new way of staying active with a sport that is as equally as cheesy as it is grueling.

“Our main focus right now is getting athletes to come out and just give it a shot,” he said. “The sport is full-tackle and high-intensity, and many former basketball and football players wouldn’t imagine themselves playing Quidditch in a million years, but then they try it out and they love it.”

To people who have never heard of the game, Johnson describes it as “that game from Harry Potter with the Golden Snitch.”

“They usually know what I’m talking about,” she said. “Then they ask how it’s possible to play it in real life since we can’t fly.”

Johnson said the game is a lot of fun.

“Basically, there are two teams who are both trying to score points by throwing a ball through their team’s goals,” she said. “The other team tries to prevent them from scoring by hitting them with dodgeballs or blocking their throws. Another person called the Golden Snitch does whatever he wants until he gets caught. We do all of this while running around on broomsticks.”

Johnson said her favorite part of being a member is meeting new people.

“I met all of my real friends playing Quidditch,” she said. “We’re really just a friendly, social group of people who honestly want to have fun and spend time together.”

Johnson said the team went through the same official process as all other registered campus organizations.

“We talked to the RSO office and met with the coordinator to get through the UCA Registered Organization system, and we asked the two professors with the biggest reputation as avid Harry Potter fans to be our advisers,” she said.

The team coordinated with Hendrix College and hosts official practices every week. Homstad said the team has 15 active members with 10 others who occasionally show up.

The team practices every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday during x-period at the fields behind the HPER Center.

“Rain or shine, we’re out there if it is above 32 degrees,” Homstad said.

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