Badminton ready for bid at 3-peat


Laney Wardell

Sophomore Nikhita Jayaraj was part of the state championship badminton team in 2018 and is looking to add another ring in '19

Over the past two years no badminton team has been as dominant in the state of Arizona like the Perry badminton team. In those two years the team has had a perfect 35-0 record and two back-to back state championships, and now they’re coming for their third. 

The team lost two of its best seniors, Julia Mumme and Jillian Lagasca among others but head coach Lerina Johnson is confident they won’t lose a step. 

“I think we’re going to be one of the top three teams in the state, if not top five. We just have to focus and not make so many mental mistakes” Johnson stated

Coach Johnson pointed out similarities between last year’s championship team and this years team. “In the beginning we felt we were good enough to win it, this years team feels the same. As long as this years team will put in the work then I absolutely think they can just like last year.” 

The pumas won all 18 games in 2018 and all 17 games in 2017 (excluding playoffs). Having a streak like that could build pressure and create opportunities for learning experiences.

“There’s a little bit but that’s just the pressure that I put on myself, that first loss is gonna be a hard one but I think on the other hand we kinda need to have a loss because that will help us refocus and see that it’s not going to come easy.” Coach Johnson said.

Principal Serano had some high praise for Coach Johnson during a press conference

“She built that program from the ground up since day one, that’s a good program, ours and Xaviers are probably the best in the state” Mr. Serano also stated he wouldn’t think coach Johnson would be happy if they accomplished anything short of a third straight championship.

Star players or not the badminton team has a target on its back. Teams like Xaivier and Hamilton have very competitive programs as well and will do everything they can to knock off the two time defending champs.