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BU, Emerson students among those chosen to 1st US national Quidditch team

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  May 25, 2012 09:00 AM

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A student from Boston University and another from Emerson College are among 21 first-string players named to the United States’ first national team in the Harry Potter-derived sport of Quidditch.

The squad will compete at an international tournament planned to be held near London shortly before this summer’s Olympic Games, though the Quidditch sport is not part of the actual Olympic Games, according to the International Quidditch Association, which is organizing the games.

Kedzie Chase Teller from Boston University and Allison Gillette from Emerson were selected for the first string group from more than 150 nominations “based on their skills on the pitch and ability to be a good ambassador for the sport and the United States,” the association’s website says.

Brendan Stack, from BU, and Rebecca Der, from Emerson, were also chosen as reserves for the US national team, according to the site.

If a first string player cannot make the trip to the “Olympic Expo Games” in Oxford, England, a reserve player of the same gender and position will be offered the spot, organizers said.

At least two other teams are expected, from the United Kingdom and Australia, according to the site. A French team and others may also compete.

Modified from the game played in the renowned Harry Potter novels and seen in the movies, the real-life version involves no flying or magic. Instead, competitors run with brooms between their legs.

Adapted seven years ago by students at Middlebury College in Vermont, the sport is played at more than 300 universities and high schools in the country and in a dozen other countries, according to the IQA, which was founded at Middlebury.

The sport has held World Cup matches in recent years.

Many universities participate in intramural or intercollegiate Quidditch. Local schools including: the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Boston University, Emerson, Smith and Eastern Nazarene colleges, Harvard, Suffolk, Tufts, Brandeis and Amherst universities have formed teams, according to the International Quidditch Association.

Read more about the four local college students selected to the team below. The following is text and photos are from the IQA website:

First-string Players:

Name: Kedzie Chase Teller
(Yes, his middle name is actually Chase. Coincidence? We think not)
Team: Boston University
Position: Chaser

Teller was recruited to BU for sprints on the BU D1 track team his freshman year. Eventually, he found a spot on the BU quidditch team. He has competed with the team since Fall 2009 (still the era of the capes) and has been a starting chaser since his first competition. He is a 3-year World Cup squad starter and a 2-year World Cup squad captain who, as a chaser, is 100% first-to-quaffle record in all inter-BU competitions. He helped lead the team to 3rd place finish at World Cup III, racking up the highest total number of goals for the team in 2009. He has also led his team toward victories at the First Annual BU Winterfest, Northeast Regionals, and UMass Lily & James Potter Memorial tournament, as well to a sweet 16 finish at World Cup V, losing to Middlebury by a snitch-grab. Teller has worked alongside his sister, founder of BEACON Collaborations (formerly Teller Marketing Solutions), for three years, learning the ins and outs of proper event planning and marketing strategy. For World Cup III, he sat outside the university dining hall to fundraise money to put towards his team’s journey to Middlebury, Vermont. In the end, he earned enough money to help with transportation and to purchase the team’s dinner that night. Teller was also one of the key organizers that ran planning and marketing for the Championship series tournament for the Boston Cannons lacrosse opener.

Name: Allison Gillette
Team: Emerson College
Position: Beater
Allison has been playing quidditch since fall 2009. She has played for three World Cup teams and was captain the latter two years. She brought Emerson to many Northeastern tournaments and has played a large part in facilitating intercollegiate games in Boston between teams like Tufts, BU, and Brandeis. During Allison’s leadership at Emerson, she created a stat-keeping position for all of their games. As a beater, the drive and heart with which she plays the game brings energy to the entire team. Her strong, clean play allows her to take on the best beaters of either gender, and she has saved countless goals for keepers by knowing where to be with her bludger. As Emerson’s Commissioner from 2011-2012, Allison has been the commander-in-chief of the fundraising effort, as ECQ gets no funding from the university. Thanks to Allison, the IQA was able to host the IQA Champions Series tournament for the Boston Cannons Lacrosse opener in April.

Reserve Players:

Name: Rebecca Der
Team: Emerson College
Position: Beater

‘Becca’ is a fierce competitor on the quidditch pitch. She is always the go-to person for getting and maintaining bludger control, and works with her partner to create a cohesive team of beaters. With two years on the Berserkers (Emerson’s house team), one year on Emerson’s World Cup team (one semester B team, one semester A team), Becca has always stood out on the pitch. Her enthusiasm and commitment to the sport is found in a few players. At Emerson, she left a reputation of being the best defensive beater – her fellow players coined her style the “Becca Der method.” She is supportive of her team, and no matter what, she keeps a positive attitude. She is extremely dedicated to the sport and her teammates and gives it her all when she is on AND off the field. Becca has worked as an intern for the IQA for two years. She helped organize the World Cup in 2010 by calling and e-mailing companies to raise money and ask for donations for the event. She organizes players from local Boston colleges for film shoots. At Emerson, she was on the Quidditch marketing team, which organized events like a dance, a trivia night, a movie night, and the New England Cup. She also fundraised for Emerson Quidditch by running swag sales.

Name: Brendan Stack
Team: Boston University
Position: Keeper

Stack is a very capable keeper with experience on varsity volleyball, basketball and crew teams. He has the speed to outrun the opponent’s fastest chasers, as well as the size and the agility to score on the other side of the pitch. His impossibly long arms make him one of the most adept shot-blockers out there. Stack’s understanding of the game has allowed him to push his offense so he can act as a fourth chaser, if needed. Using his position on the pitch as well as his high vantage point, Stack sees the whole pitch, allowing him to direct and assign his defenders when needed. As well as having a presence on the pitch, Stack has proven himself an ambassador of the sport and of BU. He has succeeded in making friends on every team he plays. He also has done fundraising since high school, from annual pancake breakfasts and “Learn-To-Row” days for crew to raising over $1000 for a fun-filled eating competition for his fraternity. Stack has been appointed as his frat’s Athletic Chair to organize and set up the brotherhood’s intramural teams.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at
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