Girls badminton happy to be back in spring season

Community building returns after COVID

Senior+night+on+April+21

Horne

Senior night on April 21

March 4th marked the beginning of the girls Badminton season after last year’s move to the winter season because of  COVID-19. 

Varsity assistant coach Amy Branahl said last year’s move of season created complications with team building.

“It was a challenge because we couldn’t do all the community building that we are doing this year,” Branahl said.

She said what stands out about this season is that the team is doing more community building. Branahl has seen newer and more experienced players growing together throughout the season. 

We each are able to comfort each other if we just have bad days, but we’re also competitive as well, and we always support each other”

— Maya Morales

“There’s people who come in and tryout for the team who have never played before. They are learning a lot of the fundamentals, especially the freshmen,” said Branahl. 

The sense of community that comes from getting to know each other is that members learn to trust and support one another.

“We each are able to comfort each other if we just have bad days, but we’re also competitive as well. And we always support each other,” said senior captain Maya Morales.  

One tradition that has become central is Big Sister Little Sister, where upperclassmen players are partnered with a freshman or sophomore.

“[The players] exchange gifts. We go to events together. We watch each other’s games. It’s just like a very fun friend that you have throughout the season to come up to,” said senior captain Maddy Tabora. 

Big Sister Little Sister has helped teammates get together despite being in different grades. Occasionally, the team holds carbo-loads before tournaments. 

“That’s when big sisters and little sisters can get together, eat together, hang out, get to know one another, and support one another,” Branahl said. “It’s a really great program. We get to just build some community within the different levels for the program.”

Birdie Bash was brought back this year and is another way the team comes together, this time for a charitable cause. 

“That’s a time where people can challenge our badminton players because people think Badminton is really easy to play in your backyard. It’s harder than it looks,” Branahl said. 

Through the Sisters program and Birdie Bash, the players feel a stronger sense of community both on and off the court, according to senior captain Maddy Tabora.

“We are a community. We don’t only like to interact on the court or during practice or games, we also hang out outside of that. We try to get together as much as possible outside of our games,” Tabora said. 

Morales says that a closer knit team leads to more passionate playing. 

“I love the community. I feel like everybody just wants to do the best that they can,” Morales said.