Harry Potter becomes reality at Texas State

Special to the Star
Robert Guerra, concrete industry management sophomore, attempts to take the Quaffle from Ethan Hultgren, exercise and sports science junior on Sept. 8 at Lion's Club field.

In a place where flying broomsticks and talking paintings are the norm, a group of students are bringing the magical world of Harry Potter to Texas State.

Quidditch, a fictional sport played on broomsticks by characters in the popular series, has been a reality at Texas State for four years. Since its inception, the team has made their mark across the nation.

Daniel DeRuiter, team president and exercise sports science senior, said Texas State has become one of the most recognized collegiate Quidditch programs in the country.

He said the originality of the game separates it from other sports.

“We are a big thing,” DeRuiter said. “No other sport has a team carrying a broom between their legs.”

DeRuiter said members new and old are putting in a lot of hours to perfect their skills.

“We want to win the championship,” DeRuiter said. “We have gotten so close and have won second place before.”

DeRuiter said the team, which was founded with seven members in 2011, is now reviewing applications from 200 interested freshmen.

“I want to definitely keep all members,” DeRuiter said. “I want us to be more than just a sport and get out and do things like volunteer work and homecoming.”

Elizabeth Clementi, tournament director and accounting graduate student, said the team has come a long way since its inception.

“They started the meetings and practices in a small house, and from there it started growing rapidly,” Clementi said.

The team usually takes around 60 members to each tournament, Clementi said.

“We have played with every big school in Texas, against at least 62 teams,” Clementi said.

The team is excited to prepare for its first tournament at the end of the month, she said.

“We have tournaments Sept. 20 and 21, and the Diamond Cup is coming up on Nov. 14,” Clementi said. “This is a year-long sport, so we have to start preparing.”

Eric Reyes, public relations officer and exercise sports science sophomore, said he wasn’t a huge Harry Potter fan before joining the team four years ago.

“I only read one book, and the movies were never a huge deal to me, but I went to the first practices and saw how close they were and that drew me in and kept me on the team,” Reyes said.

Reyes said the game has recently become one of the fastest-growing sports on college campuses.

“Almost every American university has a Quidditch team, and I know Canada also has one,” Reyes said. “This is a huge sport around the world.”

The team’s sorting process separates it from other programs, Reyes said.  

“In the first meetings, we have a personality quiz and we have a hat and someone that speaks like the hat in the movie,” Reyes said. “We count the points, and will sort you into a house, which everyone enjoys very much.”

Reyes said the Quidditch team is unique from any other team he has been a part of.

“I have played other sports, but nothing is like Quidditch. It is a very physical game, but you can use tactics and be versatile,” Reyes said.

Follow Valeria Flores on Twitter at @vanat25.