What did they want? The championship. What did Woodland Christian High School seniors get? Just that on April 10 at Conestoga College.
“We have a strong team throughout our lineup, which is critical for a team badminton championship because you can have some strong individual players but everyone needs to contribute in order to secure a team victory,” said the school’s athletic director Jamie Wright.
Like football and hockey in other schools, the sport of badminton has grown to an elevated status among Woodland students, with players enjoying several years in the spotlight. Last week, a team effort won seniors a second consecutive championship.
“We had by far the most number of players we ever had try out. We had a total of 70 players and had around 50 on the team. There’s a lot of interest, for sure,” Wright said.
“The players always support each other at tournaments, watch each other’s game and they enjoy practicing together. We’ve had growing success over the past few years which generated excitement within the school and encouraged players to get involved.”
Several teams made strong showings during the double-elimination tournament, with only a few falling away after their first two matches, Wright recalled.
“As soon as you start to win matches you gain points towards the team total, that’s important,” he said.
Woodland’s Rachel Guetter, Emily Pidduck, Drew Carrick and Emma Roorda earned gold medals; silvers went to Joe Lanigan and Logan Schmidt for senior boys’ doubles.
Lanigan and Schmidt won their first two matches, lost to the gold medal team, and worked their way through several wins, including beating out Woodland’s second senior boys double team by a score of 23-21.
“It was an incredible battle; could have gone either way,” Wright said.
Two more matches won the boys silver.
The seniors mixed doubles team, Carrick and Roorda, handily won their first two games and fought harder in the games to follow, Wright added. The final saw the pair face-off against a strong Monsignor Doyle C.S.S. team, defeating them in two close games.
“The goal for the day for our teams, aside from having fun and enjoying the day, was to really focus on getting as many points as we could in each category – every player’s performance was important – and then hoping for a repeat by winning our team championship.”
The District 8 league consists of eight schools. Woodland badminton players left the tournament first in the senior category with 63 points, followed by Resurrection Catholic Secondary School (61 points) and Monsignor Doyle (59).