Pumas prepared to unify in state playoffs

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As the badminton team begins state playoffs, the campus is on edge to see if Perry will finally be state champions.

Though falling short last year in a high-drama matchup against rival Xavier, the Pumas have remained 13-1 throughout another successful season.

Led by a seasoned trio of veterans — seniors Katie Cross, Dominique Garcia, and Tori Albin — the Pumas are ready to pounce on the opportunity to bring home a championship trophy.

Garcia and Albin, doubles partners who received state runner-up in the tournament on October 21, were pleasantly surprised by their success, and plan on using that momentum as they make their way through the state semi-finals at Desert Vista High School on October 26.

Albin said, “Getting state runner-up for doubles was a huge win for us individually and for our program.”

With the end goal so near, the Pumas have their eye on the highly-coveted state championship trophy, but know the work they have left to put in.

“The biggest trial will be trying to work past the pressure of possibly being the school’s first state championship,” said junior Bella Raponi.

In preparation for the upcoming tournament, the team has been hard at work preparing both their skills and their mindsets.

“This year our mindset is to play our game no matter the opponent,” said Albin. “We want to set the tone for the game, not the other way around.”

No matter what the end result, the Pumas will walk off the court as different people, taking the lessons they’ve learned about both the game and life.

Albin said, “This team has really showed me how to fight and push myself farther than what I thought I could. My teammates and Coach Johnson have taught me lessons that go way beyond the court.”