By Melody Li

The Piedmont Hills Badminton team started the new season strong, with a 9-6 win at their first game against Andrew Hill on Fri., Mar. 3 at the Piedmont Hills Gym.  The team currently has a record of 3 wins and 0 losses, with a game today at Leigh High School.

Although each individual team player displays strong talent, much of the team’s success is thanks to the team cooperation and spirit.

“We won easier than expected against Andrew Hill because [everyone was] so cheerful and spirited,” comments senior Captain Nicky Nguyen. “It was relaxing and fun.”

As the first game of the season, captains encouraged team spirit and cheering among all the players.

“The game [against Andrew Hill] went pretty well. Overall, everyone was cheering and there was good energy amongst the team,” seconds junior Captain Jody Wong.

To prepare for this season, the badminton team started to scout new players in the beginning of fall. Students had to attend at least two conditioning days between January and February to even qualify to try out for the team.

“Conditioning showed us who was most dedicated,” explains sophomore Christine Pham. “The kids who consistently showed up are the ones who ended up making the team.”

While training and conditioning officially started in January, the team has been training hard on their own as well.

“Personally, I’ve been practicing and training since the summer on my own at Bay Badminton Center. The upperclassmen also helped the freshman prep for tryouts,” explains Nguyen.

Some members train at clubs outside of school to further advance their playing skills.

“I’ve been training at Bintang since I was in middle school,” admits freshman Varsity Singles player Brandon Lin. “That really helped me prepare for the season and all my future games.”

Currently, the team has practice days on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and games on Wednesdays and Fridays.

This year, the team hopes to not only improve in skills and to win in league finals, but also become a closer family.

“I think our team is pretty sold this year, and I hope we can win league finals.  The captains hope to help our team bond and be a closer knit group,” reveals Wong.

Many of the freshman have similar goals and expectations for their first year on the team.

“As a freshman, I feel a lot of pressure being on the team as everyone is super competitive [but] my goals for this season is to make league finals and possibly CCS,” says freshman Varsity Singles player Tony Hong.

The players ultimately hope to win League Finals and make it to CCS in their respective individual events.

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