Jozua Sparks
Keeping it real
Mon Feb 18, 2019 20:27

On the morning of the Quidditch tryout, Jozua spent his breakfast second guessing his decision to sign up. He was a seventh year, with RATS coming up, and a future plan that kind of depended on him doing reasonably well on those. He also had his own club to run and college applications to send out. If he was smart, he’d drop Quidditch and focus on those things.

Jozua apparently wasn’t smart because at the appointed time the tryouts were due to begin, Jozua was there, stretching and wishing Lily luck on her own try out.

He wasn’t nervous. Well, that wasn’t entirely true. He was mildly nervous on Lily’s behalf. He was hoping that she would get Captain. She ought to already be one, now that Ben was graduated (as should Jozua with Joe’s departure, but that wasn’t the point, and Jozua had never wanted it anyway), but with the new school wide format, captaincies were more rare. Ben had got it last year anyway, so with any luck, Lily would too. This group looked like it was the Pecari and Friends team, so Lily really ought to be the one leading it, right?

He was certain that he himself stood no chance at it. Despite being the oldest guy on the team (Lily being the only other seventh year, and her not being a guy, he felt secure in this assumption), Jozua was by no means certain he would even make first string, never mind the impossibility that he might be deemed good enough to be captain. If anything, his nerves were more agitated over the possible outcome that he would make the team rather than that he wouldn’t.

That was the much riskier outcome from this tryout as far as Jozua was concerned. Not making the team would be status quo. Making it would be simultaneously terrifying and exciting. He wanted on the team, to do the traveling and the being with Lily thing (especially if she was captain, so he could see all her away victories, too), but if he was reserve again, it would be as much relief as disappointment. Competitive games were fraught with opportunities to disappoint not only his House now, but the whole of Sonora. And Lily, if she was Captain.

Still, with Coach Kinsell being new (Jozua had no memory of the man’s brief stint in the position when he’d been a third year), he thought he might look pretty good for the team on paper - seventh year player, uninterrupted participation in Quidditch since his first year, Assistant Captain of Teppenpaw before House teams ceased to exist - all very impressive sounding qualifications until the name Jozua Sparks got attached to them.

But if Coach Kinsell didn’t know about the Quidditch fiasco that had been Jozua Sparks during his earlier years. Coach Reilly post dated the worst of it, too, so even if Kinsell got notes from her, they’d mostly just say something like “declined competitive play; terrible at all positions other than Keeper, which he’s pretty okay at; never ever under any circumstances play him as a Beater in a real match” which was going to be fairly consistent with his try-out performance. Well, the part about never playing beater was probably just his own wishful thinking. But it looked like the sign-ups had enough people willing to play that so Jozua would not have to. So no risk of that really.

The try-out began. Jozua jogged. As previously noted, he was one of only two seventh years, and he was taller than Lily, so he had a long leg advantage over most of the younger players, which was the only reason he did as well as he did, keeping mostly to the middle of the pack. That height was also going to be his not-so-secret weapon once he got to showing off his Keeping skills. The thing he had going for him the most was his longer reach. He wasn’t super tall for his age or anything, barely scraping past average really, but he was seventeen, and further along his growth curve than most anyone else out here. Of course, Isaac had signed up for Keeper, which he hadn’t anticipated, so he was going to have more competition on the reach-is-key premise than he would have liked.

Jozua still wasn’t a fast flyer. That had never been something he got good at. Flying too fast freaked him out a little bit. So he did . . . poorly . . . in the broom race. He did better than he had during his first try-out six years ago, but that was like saying elephants moved faster than turtles. They did, but nobody was likely to come up with ‘fast’ as a description for how elephants move. Likewise, it would not be the word used to describe Jozua today, either.

The skill test was basically torture. Well, that wasn’t entirely true. Jozua got through it just fine; he even kind of enjoyed it. He didn’t run into a single thing the whole way out and back. He threw the Quaffle through the hoop without a hitch, and caught the returning Quaffle without incident. He even managed to wing the side of the goal post with the bludger (this was more-or-less on purpose; bludgers were meant to hit things, not sail harmlessly through them, and it felt cruel to the ball to do anything other than let it smash things). He flew around the poles, darted past the boxes as they moved about (that was the hardest bit of the whole thing, but he waited patiently until he had figured out their pattern then gone for it), and flew through the hoops without touching them.

He just took more than twice as long as anybody else doing the test. Waiting for him to finally get it all over with was the torturous part, for everybody else.

Jozua ignored the instructions for Chasers and Beaters, didn’t even notice nothing was said about Seekers, and just lined up to take his turn after Isaac for the Keeping tryout. It was both the only position he had any skill in, such as it was, and the only one he had any interest in playing. And it was his last year at Sonora. Keeper or bust. He was done filling in wherever else they needed bodies.

The nice thing about Keeper was that you didn’t need to be a fast flyer. Sure, you had to get from one hoop to the next pretty quick if you wanted to block a shot that changed target at the last moment, but he was fine with sprints. He’d shown that well enough getting through the boxes. It was long high velocity flights that he had trouble with. Sprints like that were over before he could start getting worked up about how fast he was going.

So as Lily’s chasing group came at him, he just smiled, and watched their body language, readying himself to move from in front of the center hoop as soon as he knew which of the others was the one being targeted.

OOC: I am assuming Lily finds someone to go chasing with and you all make a run at the goals. Seems a safe bet.

  • Another Chaser thread.Lily Spencer, Mon Feb 18 14:59
    Getting back into the familiarity of school had helped Lily’s transition. She was still sad at unexpected times during the day and always thought of Tod whenever she saw other students with pets.... more
    • Keeping it real — Jozua Sparks, Mon Feb 18 20:27
Click here to receive daily updates