With March Break come and gone, high school students are back to their regular scheduled programming of hitting the books and after school activities.
Sports teams have begun practicing for the spring season, including the badminton team, which meets four times a week. They’ll continue right up to the Waterloo County Secondary School Athletics Association tournament on Apr. 10-11.
Coach Mark Carlin says they have enough boys for the junior and senior teams, but don’t quite have a full team of girls. A full team would be 32 players and they have 26.
And it’s a good thing they practice so much, since they haven’t been able to organize any exhibition games prior to WCSSAA.
“It’s a bit of a problem because a lot of the kids have after school work commitments and things like that. And a lot of the tournaments that we have, they require you to put a full team of kids in. So we can’t really get enough kids to do that,” Carlin explained.
But, he has high hopes for the junior team this year.
Grade 10 student Ian Naisby is back this year on the junior team. Carlin says he did well last year in boys’ singles competition.
“We’re going to put him in the doubles this year and he’s teaming up with another very strong Grade 9. In fact, this guy’s one of the strongest kids, if not the strongest Grade 9 we’ve ever seen,” Carlin said.
That player is Eric Luo. Carlin describes him as their “secret weapon.” Luo is a club player at the Granite Club in Kitchener, so he comes with lots of badminton experience.
“He’s certainly very skilled and together with Ian they’ll make a very strong team. We’re looking for some strong results there,” Carlin said.
The top four teams at WCSSAA go to regional competition – CWOSSA. There are 16 teams competing in WCSSAA this year. Carlin says they typically finish around eleventh place.
“I’d like to get up the standings this year a little bit further, maybe to sixth place, something like that. That would be an accomplishment for us.”
WCSSAA for the junior team is Apr. 10, and for the senior team it’s Apr. 1. Conestoga College is hosting. The WCSSAA finals are Apr. 12 at Huron Heights Secondary School. Teams who advance to CWOSSA will return to Conestoga College Apr. 19-20. OFSAA runs May 4-6 at Pain Court Catholic Secondary School.