High School Quidditch: WHSQ Season Opener Recap

La Serna High School defeated the California Cannons 130*-20 last Sunday at the first tournament of the Western High School Quidditch (WHSQ) season.

Last season, La Serna struggled to dominate its opponents due to its small team size, but surprised all in attendance with an improved 15-man roster which helped it glide through the tournament almost unscathed and eventually overtake the California Cannons

The tournament was held at Lake Balboa Park in Los Angeles, Calif., where windy conditions caused game durations to be shortened in order to minimize play in the dust clouds. The tournament served as the WHSQ's opener to its January to June season. Four teams were in attendance, three from the Los Angeles area and one coming from San Diego to compete in the games. While the tournament boasted of college team exposure, Snow Cup prevented an adequate mercenary team from forming to compete this year.

Pool Play



Point Differential

California Cannons (CC)



La Serna High School (LSHS)



Long Beach Wonderbolts (LBW)



Canyon Crest Academy Ravens (CCA)



La Serna v Wonderbolts 260*-0
Cannons v Ravens 120*-50
La Serna v Cannons 90-60*
Wonderbolts v Ravens 80-60*
La Serna v Ravens 40-60*
Cannons v Wonderbolts 100-120*

La Serna dominated the entire tournament, exiting pool play with a whopping +200 point differential, losing only to the Ravens in a close match that was determined by the snitch catch. With a revamped starting lineup, it proved that strong recruitment and intense training are major advantages to have in the realm of high school quidditch. Complimenting star chaser Alberto “Baby Tony” Amaya in the team’s chasing lineup were freshmen Andrew Figueroa and Piper Kilgore, who established that Amaya wouldn’t be the only player to look out for on the pitch. In addition, captain Alex Garcia finally solidified his beating pair with Jacob Lustufka, eliminating what was considered the team’s weakest point last season.

The Wonderbolts, whose track record is abundant with successes, suffered a tremendous loss between seasons after losing a majority of their entire team to graduation. The players who remained still attended the tournament, despite not having a full roster. Their performance and scored varied as the team received support from all the other competing teams, who lent their players to the Wonderbolts throughout the day in order to allow the Wonderbolts to compete. With that said, captain Samanda Sweet held together a solid beater team with Tiffany Tran, rarely allowing opponents to ever maintain bludger control for longer than a play.

The Cannons had a rough time keeping up, despite that it played on its home turf. Winning only against the newest team in the league during pool play, the Cannons struggled to perform as usual due to their no-sub roster throughout the day. A major disadvantage was the absence of its solid beating duo Ryan Hahn and Miranda de la Vega. This complication forced a switch in the lineup, causing the Cannons to compete with no permanent seeker and to move captain Sofia de la Vega from chasing to fill her sister’s role as beater. However, the switch wasn’t enough to prevent its two losses and the team was left exhausted by the end of pool play.

Having only played against one other team prior to this tournament, the Canyon Crest Academy Ravens held its own as the newcomer to the league. In two of its three pool games, the Ravens caught the snitch, one of which prevented La Serna from leaving pool play with a 3-0 record. The team caught on to the tactics being used by its opponents on pitch and adopted them into its own plays to improve its chances of advancing.

LSHS v CCA: 120* - 10
LBW v CC: 40* - 70

Seeding for semi-finals left the teams playing rematches of the last games they played. The Ravens’ luck ran out for them during the rematch, as La Serna pulled away and left the Ravens in the dust. Despite the Cannons pulling out of snitch range, the Wonderbolts refused to end on a total loss and snatched the snitch to end the game. With the elimination of off-pitch seeking and a 10-minute seeker floor, the games ended earlier and gave teams less of a chance to try to recover once both the victors had pulled far ahead.

After a brief break, the finalists lined up on opposite sides of the pitch, ready to give it their all. Even with a late player addition allowing them a sub, a muscle cramp in the Cannons’ keeper early in the game left the team to once again reconstruct its lineup. Subbing keeper Izzy Spring back in as a beater allowed for a more flexible chasing team. However, the Cannons came into the game drained of the energy that may have helped keep up with La Serna. La Serna, on the other hand, was only just starting to tire, but its bench full of subs made that issue obsolete as all the players were able to rest when they needed to. Seeking for La Serna was Roberto Amaya, who caught the most snitches during the tournament. A pull was made by Amaya soon after the snitch returned to the pitch but the call was challenged by the Cannons, and after multiple discussions, the call was nullified and once again the teams were going at it. La Serna pulled far ahead, its beaters shutting down their opponents’ beaters, allowing for more and more goals to be scored by La Serna. Not five minutes after play resumed, Amaya caught the snitch to seal La Serna’s victory 130*-20.