Girls badminton serves up high expectations

Rebecca Law, Staff Writer

  High expectations are set as the 2023 girls badminton team, consisting of  new and returning players, progress through the spring season. 

  “This year we would like to continue to improve skill levels,” Joe Hames, coach, said. “We don’t measure our success by record, rather we look at the level of play. We hope to peak at the right time of the year, which is when we reach Sectionals and Conference.”

  The team is hard at work to improve on their individual skills by attending practices multiple times a week and doing various exercises such as running. Additionally, continuous improvement is crucial for the team members.

  “Since badminton is a cardio-demanding sport,  I want to improve my agility and muscular endurance this season through running,” Kayla Loyola, freshman, said.

  The difference between this year’s team compared to previous years is that there are only three seniors on the team: Samantha Jessen, Haley Harting, and Elle Thompson.

  “It may be difficult especially at the end of the year when they have a lot of commitments, since there are only three seniors. We are really looking for the senior leadership. Additionally, we hope they stay on track, and we think they will,” Hames said.

  Seniors are willing to bring out their best performance this season.

  “I am working hard to show up to practice and doing extra work to train in areas of my playing style,” Samantha Jessen, senior, said. “I am also trying to help guide some of our underclassmen and helping them work on their skills so they can improve.”

  The positive chemistry between the players and coaches has improved as the season progresses.

  “Our coaches are extremely encouraging and supportive of everything. They listen to what we say, and allow us breaks if we need them,” Kaycee Lucena, freshman, said.

  “My coach supports me by never putting me down after a bad match, rather we focus on what to do better next time,” Carmen Huber, junior, said.

  The girls are preparing to reach Sectionals and Conferences in April to end the season on a good note.

   “Coach Wilhelimi and I have a motto: Have fun and Be an athlete. As long as these two things are done, this year will be successful,” Hames said.