The much-anticipated Quidditch preseason is now underway with regular after-school intra-squad scrimmages taking place at Patriarche Park. Players from East Lansing High School meet after school to break into two teams, pitting the Goslings against the Narwhals. Ordinarily, practice occurs on Friday afternoons, but because so many of the players belong to the marching band and this Friday was the MSU Homecoming game, practice this week took place on Thursday.
Team captains include Evan Hoopingarner, Miranda Blankenship, Josh Baird-Mejia, Hudson Brett, and Spencer Goosen. Before practice officially began, Blankenship and Alanna Murray demonstrated a beater duel at this reporter’s request.
The game involves a great deal of fast running on “brooms,” often simple sections of PVC pipe. Kelton Reedy, who played this week for the Narwhals, sports a real broom, modified with duct tape. (Duct tape appears to make up a significant portion of the Quidditch sport budget.)
Blankenship is in her third year playing Quidditch for East Lansing, and says she got involved partly to be healthier. Her favorite part of the game is playing the defensive position of beater. She explained, “Our group is very close and we all know each other very well,” so the practices are full of friendly kidding and the occasional old grudge.
Hoopingarner, a senior drum major in the high school marching band, says he has played since he was a freshman. The club was founded by Kevin Allswede in 2011. Alumni from the team now play on the Quidditch teams of MSU and the University of Michigan. East Lansing occasionally practices with MSU’s team.
In October or November, East Lansing is expected to play Okemos High School.