By Andrew Gruhn
For the first time in history, a badminton team representing South Pasadena High School is stepping onto the court. Starting off with a blank slate, the varsity badminton team is raring to test its mettle against veteran badminton squads from Mark Keppel High School, Alhambra High School, and San Marino High School.
Sophomore Michael Wu started the team because of his great passion for the sport.
“I found that a lot of friends wanted to play badminton, so I decided to create the team to strengthen our friendship,” Wu said.
Wu started the long journey to create the team during the 2012-2013 school year while attending South Pasadena Middle School. From 2013-2015, Wu petitioned and held meetings with SPHS principal Janet Anderson and individuals at the district office to receive approval for the establishment of the team. After a hard fought battle, South Pasadena finally obtained a badminton team for the 2014-2015 school year.
The team has not been able to practice much so far due to the short amount of time between the selection of the team’s players and their first and second games. Tryouts were held from February 23 to 25. From there, the team had two hour practices on February 26 and 27, and held a three hour practice match on March 2.
“We have a lot of potential but we need more time to practice for our competitions,” Wu said.
The team held its inaugural match on Tuesday, March 3 against the Alhambra High School Moors.
The members of the varsity badminton team played well, but the inexperience of the team as a whole showed through.
The first competition was tough for the Tigers, who only managed to win three matches out of 21 played. The Tigers were shut out in the mixed doubles, the girls singles, and the girls doubles. Freshman Jeffrey Liu and sophomore Mark Wang won one round in the boys doubles, and Wu won both of his boy’s singles matches.
“I would say that we did well playing against a team that has had years of experience while we have had only hours of experience,” Wu said. “Our girls team has a lot of potential but we need to put in more time and effort to dig that potential out.”
After playing against Mark Keppel High School on Thursday, March 5th, the team will play San Marino High School on Tuesday, March 10.