Greenbelt teens invited to Quidditch World Cup

Students at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt will compete in a real game of Quidditch, the game played in the Harry Potter books.

Michelle Basch, wtop.com

GREENBELT, Md. – In books and movies, Harry Potter’s beloved game of Quidditch is played by wizards and witches on magical, flying brooms.

Now, a local team that plays a more down-to-earth version, is headed to the Quidditch World Cup.

“I’ve always been obsessed with Harry Potter. I’m just a giant fangirl over it,” says Julieann McCaslin, a sophomore at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt.

She’s a member of Roosevelt’s Quiddich team, but wishes she could attend another school.

“I’m still waiting for my Hogwarts letter,” she says with a laugh.

“The fact that a book could create a completely ‘out there’ sport and then it comes into the real world like this and is just taking off, it’s just amazing and magical,” says Senior Matthew Williams.

He is co-founder and co-captain of the team. It was founded in 2009, but has since been turned into a league at the school involving players from every grade.

“It’s really dorky,” says player Ruby Dessiatoun, a sophomore.

She says that’s why she loves it.

“You kind of just run around and knock people over and you’re on brooms and it’s kind of just a lot of fun because you can’t really care what people think about you,” Dessiatoun says.

“I absolutely wish I were not a muggle. You know, I go into chemistry class and I’m like, ‘Oh! This is like potions!'” says player and junior Aaron Solomon.

Soon after applying to join the International Quiddich Association, the Roosevelt Ridgebacks became one of 100 teams invited to New York City for this weekend’s Quidditch World Cup. Roosevelt will compete against other high schools, as well as college teams.

Parents have volunteered to drive the team to New York, and they’ve also found a free place to stay for the weekend.

Williams says the Ridgebacks recently bought new uniforms, but they’re still trying to raise money for new equipment.

“We’d love regulation brooms. We’re just using any old house broom we can find,” he says. Regulation brooms are lighter and contoured so they’re easier to ride.

If you’d like to donate to the team, you can send a check to the school with a note on it designating that the money should go to the Quiddich team.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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