Badminton season is here and ready. This year’s badminton team is ready to eat, breathe, and sweat badminton. They have been practicing hard since tryouts at the beginning of the school year and are ready to play their best. The season has just kicked off and only two matches have been played so far. Spectators can expect a thrilling season to come with the players striving to do their very best. Even with a new reffing system, players are still playing well and getting a grasp on it.
Badminton’s first game was played on August 29th against Sunnyslope High School. Sunnyslope has a very strong badminton program which makes them one of Thunderbird’s biggest competitors. Thunderbird played some fierce matches against them. Players such as Brittney Kochis, a senior on varsity, and Susie Ayala, a junior on varsity, played hard and gave their best. Unfortunately, they didn’t come out with a win, but they gained more practice and experience to use later in the season.
The second game played was a home game in the practice gym on September 5th. They played against Horizon High School, another one of their biggest rivals, and fought hard against them. The players performed well, but Horizon is a very good team and came out with the win. No matter what, the badminton team strived to serve well and never let the birdie fall on their side.
Badminton is now going by a new reffing system which the players are still getting used to. In the old system, only the server could win the point. If the server did not win the rally, no points were awarded and the serve went to the other player. This system caused the games to last a long time, especially if the two players were equal in skill. Because so many matches needed to happen, a new system has now been put into place where a point is awarded no matter who served. Players now don’t get extremely exhausted during one match which is a positive so that they have more stamina to give to every match. However, as Maddy Slayer, a sophomore on JV, explains, “It’s a little harder for us because we really have to watch what we’re doing more and practice our skills more otherwise a few mistakes could mean losing a match.”
The spectators and especially the players are excited for the rest of the season. They have battled their most difficult opponents and are ready to take on any other schools. The rest of this season seems promising and everyone can expect to see the players working their hardest.