Back in the swing of things

After COVID cancelled last spring’s matches, girls badminton prepares for the start of a new season


Mackenzie Sroka

Gisselle Sandoval serves the birdie over the net during a badminton practice on February 16 in the West Campus Main Gym. The team’s first match takes place on February 22.

Kaitlyn Wenzel, Staff Writer

Recently, this girls badminton team has begun to practice in preparation for their upcoming season. This will be their first season back since 2019 due to COVID-19. Many of the athletes are excited to be back in the gym playing badminton as they missed out on last season. 

“I feel really happy now that I am finally able to play Badminton again!” said varsity badminton player and senior, Richelle Abano. “Many of the returners were counting down the days until we could get back on the courts, and although the season is much different, we are still extremely happy to play.” 

However, she did say that the team is much different as it has been in past years due to the majority of the team being much younger now, but she still finds it just as fun because she says it allows the upperclassmen to build strong players for when they are eventually gone. 

While the badminton season, along with several other sports seasons, are permitted to play their seasons, there are still specific limitations put in place to keep the athletes and coaches safe. COVID-19 has affected the experiences for the practices.

According to Jacob Guardalabene, badminton coach, social distancing and mask are required during practice. Abano also provided input that the practices have been shortened from 2 hours to 1.5 hours and practices have decreased from 5 to 4 per week. 

While many of the players are excited to be playing again, there are still some disappointments that come with maintaining a safe badminton season.  Abano says that the main disappointment of this season is the fact that they aren’t able to bond with their teammates as much and get closer to them. Guardalabene said one of the biggest limitations is the lack of matches they are able to play due to different district’s rules. The badminton team will only be able to play against specific schools to limit the amount of teams they come in contact with.

Despite these limitations, the team is still very optimistic and excited about this season and have big goals. 

“My main goal is to help our younger players create a really strong foundation for when us seniors graduate,” said Abano. “Our team seems to have a disadvantage compared to other schools because we are super young, but that means that when these girls reach their junior and senior years, they can dominate and be really good against their components. I’m really looking forward to leading the team with one of my best friends and becoming friends with everyone in our gym.” 

“Just as in any season we dedicated to improving the badminton skills of the team,” said Guardalabene. We also focus on the team enjoying themselves and bonding with as many teammates as possible.  And of course our goal is to make it to state if they have a state series this season.”

The badminton team has their first match of the season on February 22.