Badminton anticipates upwards climb


Cayden Gu

Sophomore and varsity player Marcus Ling steps into his shot to generate power at practice. “Our extra training definitely helped us against Wilcox. We didn’t want to get relegated” sophomore Abhimanyu Desphande Said

Rohan Bhatia, Sports Editor

Despite a season of struggles, the badminton team defeated Wilcox and Cupertino in its final two games, avoiding relegation to a lower league.

According to coach Rodolfo Suarez, the team won the El Camino league last season, and were promoted to the historically more competitive De Anza league.

Suarez said the team has struggled this season due to the combination of joining a different league and losing previous players.

“We lost a lot of seniors from last year,” Suarez said. “On top of that, we moved to a tougher league, so it’s been hard to come by wins.” 

Suarez also said a learning curve in being a coach of a new sport which means it took a while for him and the other coaches to figure out how to work together best.

“It’s a new sport for me, so there was definitely a lot of learning I had to do,” Suarez said. “I had a lot of help from two experienced coaches, (but) I think it took a while for our styles to mesh.” 

After losing their first eleven games, the team’s wins against Cupertino and Wilcox were just enough to tie Wilcox for last place.

Sophomore and varsity singles two player Abhimanyu Deshpande said the team understood the importance of their situation and trained hard to win their final games. 

“We started ramping up training and work outside of practice,” Deshpande said. “Our extra training definitely helped us against Wilcox. We didn’t want to get relegated.” 

Suarez said a tie at the end of the season would normally result in a drawn out process to determine who gets relegated to the lower league, but the team was able to avoid that, because the winner of the El Camino league chose not to move up.

“If the record is tied, there’s a discussion and a coach’s meeting, where you make your case why you think you should stay,” Suarez said. “At the end of that conversation, all the coaches in both leagues vote, and that’s how you decide who stays. This season, though, we lucked out a bit. The winning school from the El Camino division was Homestead High School, and their coach decided not to move up.” 

Suarez said that next year, the team will have better chemistry, resulting in what he hopes is a more successful season.

“A lot of the players know what to expect, and I just hope to make that more concrete,” Suarez said. “Like setting expectations about commitment to the team. Making sure our players are being committed, they’re working hard, they’re training, and just doing more drills to get us prepared for another season.”