Hidden Kent State club gems: The Quiddich Team and Bass Fishing Team

Kent State Quiddich team players. 

Marissa Severino

Listen to “Unique Kent State clubs” on Spreaker.

When students hear about club sports teams or student organizations at Kent State University, they might think of soccer, volleyball or baseball. But the Kent State Bass Fishing club and the Quidditch team are just two of the 400 clubs that students can join in the free time they spend procrastinating on school work.

Marissa Sutton doesn’t think of herself as a professional fisher by any means. But to be apart of Kent’s Bass Fishing team, nobody really has to be.

“I grew up casually fishing and I saw it freshman year, so I decided to join,” Sutton said.  “So, basically, whenever it’s a nice day and the guys want to go out and fish, we just go out and fish. But we have tournaments. Now it’s like busier, so probably two or three a month. And then obviously in the winter seasons, we don’t do any tournaments unless it’s out of state.”

The team typically takes their fishing talents to Lake Mogadore, Hodgson, and Mosquito Lakes, which are all within an hour drive from Kent State. They arrive at their competitions at 6:30 a.m. and are out on the lake until 3:30 p.m.

“So in the mornings basically what we do is you go to the table and sign yourself in there’s usually … an entry fee (because) there’ll be cash prizes at the end,” Sutton said. “You get a number or we use tennis balls and you get that number and then you all leave at the same time. You take all the boats to a certain area in the water and the person in charge says what time you have to be back to the dock. So every minute you get back late, you get a pound taken off a fish because the way you win is how many pounds of fish you can get. But you only get five fish total. So you want to catch big bass in order to get that weight.”

The last tournament the team participated in was called Chris Graf Memorial Mosquito Thaw, and the cash prize for the winner was $1,500. But Mosquito Madness, which is a tournament later in the year, has a grand prize is $10,000.

“So if you are good and you have a good day fishing, you can come out on top, and make good money,” Sutton said.

There’s about 25 people on the team, but it’s all about who shows up

“There are guys on the team that are really good, but it doesn’t matter. I think what’s really cool is we’re all really close,” Sutton said. “We’re all from kind of like smaller areas. So we all get along really well and very open. Just because I’m not as good as the other guys, they don’t like make me feel bad about it or anything.”

That day, Sutton and two of her other teammates caught 17 pounds of bass and placed in the top 20 out of 70 boats.

Now, we’re going to switch out the fishing lines with some brooms and channel our inner Harry Potter fan.   

Quidditch is a unique game that mixes elements of rugby, tag and dodgeball, and according to the Harry Potter Fandom page, Quidditch is defined as “A wizarding sport played on broomsticks.” It is the most popular game and most well-known game among wizards and witches.

David Profusek has been on Kent State’s Quidditch team for two seasons and currently plays the positions chaser and keeper.

A Quidditch field is set up basically with putting three hoops of various heights on opposite sides of the field,” Profusek said. “You set that up and try to space them out equally and you just grab the brooms. So just like in Harry Potter you’re on brooms and the point of those is you have to keep that in between your legs at all times if you dismount which is you getting off the broom it’s no longer between your legs, that means you have to go back to your set of hoops and touch that to be able to get back in. So, the purpose of that is that kind of add an extra degree of difficulty in terms of playing like you have to be able to keep control of everything while also keeping that added element under control so you can stay in the game.”

There are seven players on the field at one time. The keeper, three chasers, two beaters and one seeker, and three types of balls involved in the game: the Golden Snitch, a quaffle — which is a volleyball and bludgers — which are dodgeballs that are used to hit opponents.

“Chaser is basically the players that take the ball that is used for scoring to score points. Keeper is basically the same thing as a chaser,” Profusek said. “But with the added responsibilities of guarding the hoops when you’re put on defense so the opposing team does not score.”

Another position on the field is beater. The beater is the person with the dodgeball. They hit opposing players to act as a way of defense, and act as blockers while their team is on offense.  

“Then, other positions are the seeker, which are the people who try to get the snitch which is the flying thing in Harry Potter that Harry catches at the end to win the match,” Profusek said. “The snitch is released at um 18 minutes into the game. Basically, they have a tennis ball tied to their back and the goal is for the seeker to go and take that from them but they can’t like touch them or wrestle them down they have to somehow get around them and then rip it off and that’s how that works. That’s when the seekers can go out and try to catch the snitch to be able to end things.

Surprisingly, Kent State isn’t the only college with a Quidditch team. They have played other schools such as Bowling Green State University, The University of Toledo, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio State University, Ashland University, University of Dayton, and even Purdue University. Even with this fierce competition, Kent’s Quidditch team does pretty well for themselves, going 10-3 this season.

So whether you want to cast out a line or capture a golden snitch in your free time, there’s plenty of opportunities for Kent State students to find their niche.

Marissa Severino is a Kent State journalism student. Contact her at [email protected]