Arcadia High School Badminton Team

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Arcadia High School Badminton Team

Victoria Cheng, Staff Writer

At Arcadia High School, badminton is more than just a tennis-like game that requires shuttles/birdies and a thin racket. In 2016, three coaches and two students decided to propose a new athletic program for AHS. This was a brilliant idea because many of our Apaches were already very skilled at badminton, so the program successfully attracted many badminton players with hidden potential. Only four years into the program, the Apache Badminton Team is now a part of CIF-SS Open Division and Almont League. 

With badminton being a very competitive sport in California, our Apaches usually start intense training early in the pre-season. There tends to be more training in the pre-season than in the ongoing season, due to a tight schedule of games and tournaments. For some players, training could start as early as mid-August. Badminton season usually starts in early March, and to prepare for strenuous games and tournaments in the springtime, weekly training is required. Every training session would start with different sets of stretches to help players relax. Next, there would be “suicides”, which are drills that improve and strengthen the core, legs, and arms. Then, for the rest of the training session, players build on their skills through practicing their hits in pairs or in groups of four. Although grueling, these two hour sessions turn out to be very rewarding. After all, hard work always pays off in the end. 

In addition to our players, our badminton staff is a big part of the program. The varsity program is led by Coach Mike Stiles as the head coach and Coach Derrick Ng as the assistant coach. On the other hand, the JV program is advised by Coach Ng as the head coach and Coach James Wang as the Assistant Coach. Recently, our program also introduced Assistant Coach Leo Wang. Our coaches value participation, attendance, and most of all, arriving to events in a timely manner. As they set high expectations for players, they are also very understanding of their academic and personal needs.

In an interview with Coach Wang, he mentions that “there’s a sense of pride in [the coaches]” when hardworking players achieve. Like other coaches, he states that he doesn’t consider coaching as a job because he passionately loves badminton. Aside from all the coaches, the team also has a dedicated, professional photographer: Mr. Eric Shen. Mr. Shen captures great action pictures at practices, games, and team bonding events. Not only can players see pictures of their own growth, this also contributes to making history for the badminton team. 

Throughout the years, our Apaches have worked towards earning better titles in the league. Though undefeated in Almont League, Apaches have always been determined to replace their runners up in CIF-SS (California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section) Open Division with championship. Our most challenging opponent is Diamond Bar High School, which has consecutively earned championship in the CIF-SS for six years. Rather than stopping the AHS Badminton Team from displaying its utmost effort, this motivates players to do even better in the upcoming years, as the whole team is very determined to win the championship. 

As season is coming close, the Apache Badminton Team is doing its best to face new challenges and to reach its goal. In and outside of school, players put in plenty of time to become the best version of themselves. With endless support from our staff members, players continue to work on better communication, sportsmanship, and confidence to prepare for what is to come. With the fresh start of a new decade, our Apaches carry great excitement to triumph into the season.