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Grizzlies in badminton

Badminton is lesser-known sport, but it should not be excluded from the rest.

Brandon Ngo, Staff Writer

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Badminton has a reputation for being one of the easiest sports on campus, however after surveying members of a team, it becomes clear that it’s just another sport. One that entails training, teamwork, and bonding. An experience which, with most, begins with conditioning.

“So, in badminton… we go to Conditioning which is basically a workout. We run, do some pushups and squats, and we run 3 miles,” explains freshman Sonny Au. “The 3 miles… really [do] hurt you, but there are some ways to help you pass that hurdle. Like, sometimes I walk… but after I walk, I force myself to run more.” “I’ve gotten tired, and my legs really hurt,” admitted another 9th grade team member, Madison Orvis, “…But I’ve gotten faster.”

There’s a unique appeal to badminton as a sport. “Badminton is not a sport where muscles define your skill. In badminton, you could be a little twig and still be a strong player through technique and strategy. This sport is more welcome to those who may not be as athletic as others, while still requiring some athleticism in it.” says senior Sean Cassi, one of four captains on the team. “It looks and seems easy, but on a competitive level it’s very hard,” points out senior Kyler Barlow. Sonny Au elaborates, “It’s an intense game, sometimes when the opponent hits the birdie to you sometimes it goes really fast and you have to react quickly before it hits your body or hits the ground.”

Challenges the team faces include not only the physical training that comes with conditioning; it’s also having the will for self-improvement. “I’m not the strongest person in the world,” admits team captain Sean Cassi. “Lots of muscle building activities make me very sore and it becomes harder to work out the next day. Also, my schedule restricts me from being able to practice at every given moment… As long as I work through the pain, I can feel myself slowly getting stronger and stronger. With such little given extra time to practice, I try to make every moment count.”

In the badminton team, a variety of personality types and attitudes exist towards badminton. They host a club on Wednesday where they introduce themselves, and present a slideshow on many different aspects of badminton, and updates on the club and sport in general.  Some are enthusiastic about being part of a team. “I think the best thing about our team is the amount of support we provide each other. We all suffer together through practice, and that just brings our bond as a team even closer and we just help support each other, whether it be in games or just simple running,” describes Sean Cassi.

However, on the other hand, a student who has asked to remain anonymous claims that “players talk trash about other people behind their backs. Hope that changes in the future to make badminton into a more encouraging and positive environment.” Without being on the team, there is no way to verify if this is true, but it raises the concern that members of any team should be aware of how they treat their peers. Badminton has its merits, but no team is without flaws. “Hope that changes in the future to make badminton into a more encouraging and positive environment,” they conclude.

As he will be graduating and leaving the team next year, Sean Cassi optimistically muses on what the future has in store. “I hope to get a really good record during season and hopefully make league finals and eventually, CCS. It’s my last year, so obviously I want to be successful, but I also want to have the best last year ever!” Taking a step back, others have more modest, personal goals, including being able to rally, winning a game, or running the 3 miles in a shorter time.

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