BACK-2-BACK Pumas cruise to second state title


Wyatt Anderson

Senior Julia Mumme lunges for the birdie in a match during the season. Mumme took second in Division-1 individual play.


It is incredibly difficult to win a state championship; it is even more improbable to win two in a row.

The badminton team cruised to their second state title with a 5-2 win over Corona del Sol last month, making it Perry’s first ever back-to-back state championship win.

Coach Lerina Johnson said “We did a lot better than I had anticipated us to do.”

The Pumas had another stellar regular season, posting a perfect 17-0 record, but there were still some nerves when it came time for post-season competition.

“It was challenging and nerve racking but it all worked out in the end” said Jayaraj.

With their strong regular season, PHS earned a first-round bye. In the second round, they made quick work of Mountain View, beating the Toros 5-0. In the semifinals, the Pumas played Premier Region rival Hamilton and swept the Huskies 5-0.

The next hurdle was finals, with the second state title in badminton’s grasp and No. 2 seed Corona del Sol standing in the way.

The group of girls proved that they are still best in state despite the challenges they faced.

“A lot of drills and extra practices were put in to prepare.” Jayaraj. The girls put lots of time and “looked at all of the other team’s old records and plays” she said. The team played at their very best when at state. The squad was in the finals against the Corona Aztecs.

“It was challenging and nerve racking but it all worked out in the end” Jayaraj said. The girls were nervous, but ready for the challenge.

They ended up winning the match in a landslide 5-2. Perry was crowned state

champions for the second year in a row.

The next challenge facing the team was the doubles portion of state. The duo was,

freshman, Nikhita Jayaraj and sophomore, Ashley Rodarte. They beat both of the

Hamilton Husky teams. They then went on to beat Corona Del Sol, who the girls

later saw in the finals. Jayaraj said “It has always been one of my dreams to

win state and that dream came true.” The girls put in many extra hours of practice

to prepare for the state matches. In the finals the doubles team beat the Aztecs for the second time 15-5 and 15-6. The win in doubles was no trouble. They cruised to a title in doubles

Senior, Julia Mumme was the next player up for the singles state matches. Her first opponent was Maeve Lee from Xavier prep who Mumme beat. She then went on to play Rujuta Sane

from Hamilton who she beat in the semi-finals 11-3 and 11-2. Then it was the

finals. It was October 20, and she was ready to face Brennan Agnew from Corona

Del Sol. Mumme ended up losing to Agnew 11-9 and 11-7.

The team as state champions for the second year in a row. Coach Lerina Johnson knew

that this group was going to contend this year, and they proved worthy of last

year’s success.

For Mumme it was a great way to end her last badminton season

as a Puma. “This senior season has been an amazing feeling and has been

to be a part of.” Mumme said. Mumme then explained that “it has been an awesome

to be a leader on the team and help the younger girls out.”  It was also a great jumpstart for freshman Pumas to start their high school athletics profession.