Badminton Breakthrough

Badminton has reached new heights this season, exceeding Coach Lerina Johnson’s high expectations and going to State Championships. Their exceptional talent has carried them far and helped them achieve seventh place in the championships.

Their biggest shining moment this year was the win over Red Mountain, with a final score of 8-1. With hard work they won their section and remain undefeated.

“We were really excited because only the top 16 teams make team state, so we really wanted the chance to win the state title for the school,” Jenna Reynolds, Johnson’s star player, commented. They made seventh place and fought  their way up the ranks.

“I felt very excited and honored to be part of such an established program,” Lindsay Heffron, alternate and close friend of the varsity team, said. “Coach Johnson has worked very hard throughout this season to make us the best we can be and I think our team will do a great job.”

Though many other athletes look down on the less popular sport, the Badminton team is proud and they show it in everything they do and say. “…when everyone else judges Badminton I get a little chuckle to myself because I know I can beat them and that its way harder once you get out there.”

This season is a season to remember, but what makes this season different than the others is, “We play more strategically than the last season and adjust our game better, [and] we finished with score of 12-2,” Johnson said with obvious pride in her team.

Johnson’s star doubles, Laynee Gomez and Jenna Reynolds, have carried the team far, and played together better than many seasons Johnson has seen before. “They play well together and they have fun. They’ve learned to react on instinct. They complement each other very well, communicating well, verbally and nonverbally.”

This season has met Johnson’s high expectations with intense ferocity, even going so far as to set new standards for the upcoming years. “We want to try and win the AIA Academic Award, and the incoming freshmen have good leaders and role models to look up to.” This season’s players have set sky high standards for oncoming years, and given new players a high podium to uphold and conquer.