Mark Keppel’s Varsity Badminton team took runner-up in the CIF Division II Championship finals on Friday, March 6. The Aztecs narrowly loses to Westminister High School after a final score of 10-11. The competitors played in Boys Singles, Girls Singles, Boys Doubles, Girls Doubles, and Mixed Pairs matches, and a point was awarded for each match win. Despite the loss, senior and captain Lawrence Chen believed that he and his team had a great CIF run.
“I felt like we really connected this year as a team in terms of getting to know each other,” said Chen. “I think this year, the team got a little bit stronger.”
While senior athletes of other sports were able to stay in a sport through all four years of high school, badminton seniors were only able to have three years of experience on the badminton team at most. There was no badminton team during the 2013-2014 school year because the necessary paperwork was not filed on time. This led to a loss of team camaraderie that Chen and other team members had to build back up.
“It was hard in the beginning because no one really knew each other so we were just like what was going on,” said Chen. Despite a year without a team, the badminton members seized the opportunity to rebuild the team last year.
“After we got Ms. Duong as our coach,” said senior and captain Kimberley Wong. “We had more practice and even practice outside of school on our own time.” Wong also credits her motivation to stick with the team to the her teammates.
“My teammates are caring and nice we do a lot of stuff together,” said Wong. “We help each other out a lot.”