The Paw Print

2018 historical badminton season is one for the books

Mireya Sol Ruiz, Staff Writer

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The varsity badminton team finished in top positions in their sectional and state tournaments, making another victorious year for the Lady Cougars. The team members who placed third in their sectionals includes Elisa Rojas, Caroline Luchesi, Grace Michel, Kelynn Brummel, Nicole Powers, and Mackenzie Edwards. Michel and Brummel also made history, according to Christie, as they are the first doubles team to win the sectional championship to advance to state at Eastern Illinois University.
“They really had to push themselves, especially at sectionals. We went up against a bunch of tough teams and they perceived every single one of their games, which is insane,” Nick Cheop, the team’s senior manager, said.
Michel and Brummel also made history, according to Christie, as they are the first doubles team to win the sectional championship. The girls had to work extra hard this spring season, as Christie had to make strategic decisions to move up the freshmen from last year to varsity this year. At first this challenged the team on the court, but they were able to overcome their challenges and achieve their greatest goals.
“All those things considered, I’m really proud of how we progress. We had a rough start with our meets, but at the conference tournament we had 9 kids place out of 15 spots, so we’re pretty impressed and proud of them,” Christie said.
The badminton team showed excellent improvement along with great pride for their sport. It took hard work and dedication to make a name for themselves.
“They have definitely created the culture of our program. Three other seniors: Elisa Rojas, Grace Michel, and Kelynn Brummel, I’ve been lucky enough to coach for all four years, so that’s awesome. They have helped us build our program and make it what it is today,” said Christie.
As the year comes to an end, Christie said it will be difficult to say goodbye to their senior players. According to their coach, they’ve shown substantial passion for the sport along with awesome sportsmanship, including mentoring the younger teammates.
Another tough goodbye will be to their senior manager, who’s done a great deal of helpful work for the team.
“Our senior manager Nick Cheop is the greatest human alive. He’s a tremendous help to us. I say it all the time, but I couldn’t run home meets without him, I truly couldn’t. A lot of success can be contributed to Nick Cheop,” said Christie.
According to Christie, Cheop has dedicated his time, since his sophomore year, to helping our badminton team to success.
“I am not much of an athlete I would say, but I’ve definitely grown to love the sport. I feel like everyone always looks down on badminton, but it’s very intense and interesting to watch. I think it’s a sport everyone should appreciate more,” Cheop said.
He claims he grew up to love the sport he was unfamiliar with, entering his freshman year. Looking back, he describes he’s had an incredible experience managing the team, as he has made many friendships.
Cheop leaves advice for the future Lady Cougars saying, “You can get so frustrated with yourself when you’re on the court, it’s always a good idea to keep a positive attitude and have fun when you’re playing.”

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2018 historical badminton season is one for the books