Appalachian Apparators take quidditch to new heights

Chaser+Clint+Comadoll+receives+a+pass+to+score+in+the+World+Cup+qualifying+match+against+Lock+Haven+University.+Courtesy+of+Alexandria+Gates

Chaser Clint Comadoll receives a pass to score in the World Cup qualifying match against Lock Haven University. Courtesy of Alexandria Gates

Andrea Santoyo

The “Harry Potter” series has turned the game of quidditch from the wizarding game in a fiction novel into a competitive sport played all over the world.

In 2009, “Harry Potter” readers and fans joined together to bring this beloved sport to the community of Boone, officially naming their team the Appalachian Apparators in 2013. The team is community-based, meaning both Appalachian students and members of the surrounding area are welcome to take part.

Members of Appalachian State's Quidditch team running the field last weekend at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship. Courtesy of Alexandria Gates
Members of Appalachian State’s Quidditch team running the field last weekend at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship. Courtesy of Alexandria Gates

The club consists of two teams – Black and Gold. Black is the official United States Quidditch League team, while Gold is a second  team that allows for more members to join and play.

“It had a lot to do with my childhood love of ‘Harry Potter,’” senior English major and Apparators beater captain Sam Luke said of why he joined as a freshman.

Sophomore management major Bailey Layne said she was inspired to join the team in the beginning of her freshman year because of the passion and acceptance she witnessed from the team during her first practice.

The team sees participation from a wide variety of people who are all passionate about the sport.

“We are not focused on the looks of our team, but instead the heart and dedication that our players have for the sport,” Layne said.

The Apparators meet for practice twice a week on Raley Field outside of Edwin Duncan Hall.

This past weekend, the Appalachian Apparators Black team competed in its regional tournament in Richmond, Virginia, where they played against several different teams including University of Richmond, Johns Hopkins University, Grove City College and Lock Haven University. During the two-day event, the Apparators were victorious in three of their four games.

“The lead up to regionals was a mixture of excitement and stress,” said senior finance and banking major Greg Astolfi, the team’s captain. “Going in, we believed in our team’s ability to do well, but it was really awesome to see us step up and play at such a high level.”

This weekend the Apparators Black team received a World Cup bid, which is an invitation to play against teams from around the world. They will be going to Rock Hill, South Carolina in April for the biggest event in the sport of Quidditch, which is also a massive validation of the hard work the players put in, Astolfi said.

This once-fantasy game has gained incredible popularity over the years in countries all over the world, giving people the opportunity to come together over one love, and the team in Boone is no exception.

When the club first started, it barely had enough players to field a full game. Three years later, there are two full teams, a total of about 50 people per practice.

“Quidditch remains the most rewarding community I’ve ever been a part of,” Luke said. “It’s connected me to people all over the country and taught me a lot about what something like a team, or a sport, can be.”

Story: Andrea Santoyo, Intern A&E Reporter
Photo courtesy of Alexandria Gates