A hot start for the boys on badminton

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By Tirthraj Patel, Staff Writer

After they finished one win away from breaking playoffs last season, the boys’ badminton team started this season with one goal in mind: to not only reach the playoffs, but also beat longtime rivals Hunter HS and Bronx Science HS in the process.

So far, the team has made strides towards this goal. In regards to the team’s recent performance, co-captain Brenden Picioane said, “We have been off to the best start since I’ve joined the team, winning our first three games.” The team encountered a bump in the road, however, with their loss to Bronx Science. Nevertheless, they remain confident as they lost by just a single set. Despite the setback, senior Kyle Hsu made sure to point out that the season was still young, commenting, “[the team] will work harder towards improving [themselves] individually and collectively.”

Members agree that the most significant challenges their team must confront are recruitment and consistency. As with any sport, a young and burgeoning team has players who are inexperienced, not only with the sport itself but also with the dynamic between existing team members. For the Townsend Harris boys’ Badminton team, in particular, this inexperience is most prevalent in doubles, where some players are rookies. Newcomer Jason Wu feels the key to overcoming this lack of experience is developing a system of reliance and interdependence: “Since I play Second Doubles with Keith, teamwork is the most essential part in making this pairing work and keeping my game consistent.” However, Kyle acknowledges that there may be some difficulties as the team approaches their next season: “Over the coming year, recruitment will likely be a problem as we will lose the current First Doubles team and a Second Doubles player.”

In the eyes of the team, the answer to these obstacles and what makes the end-goal more achievable is the fact that their core line-up, with the exception of a doubles team, remains unchanged since the previous season. “We have such great players on the team who are also great teachers of the sport,” said rookie Keith Yeung. “With their guidance, the team has been improving a lot.” Nevertheless, the doubles teams have spent a substantial amount of time together this year and have developed close-knit relationships—a necessity for a team’s success.

The team strives to build on this progress going forward. “It is still the beginning of the season,” Brenden said, “There is more work for [the team] to put in before we can [reliably close out matches]. [But] the things we need to improve upon can simply be worked out through more experience.”