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Rise of Badminton at VHHS

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Badminton is one of the fastest growing sports here at VHHS. The club was started just last year, and this year, 42 boys and girls already came out for tryouts, and 33 were kept. The idea of making a team came up from PE Department Head Mr. Mike McCaulou’s classes challenging the staff at badminton. When International Language Lab Aide Ms. Radhika Joshi showed up to play, the students last year were blown away. Little did they know that Joshi had played her whole life and also had won two national championships at college in India. This compelled some of the students in that class to want to start a team.

“Mr. McDonald and Mr. McCaulou came to me and said that they looked into it and many students wanted to start a badminton team and they wanted me to be the head coach,” said Joshi. She was the perfect person for the job because the students wanted to learn how to play and play well, and she knows the sport like the back of her hand.

Badminton matches are similar to tennis and volleyball. There are singles and doubles matches where it is first to 21 and win by two. Our team competes in the CSL conference against other teams like Waukegan, Maine East, Maine West, and the other teams in our area.

Joshi believes that badminton is growing so much at our school because it is a sport that you don’t have to be super athletic or play your whole life to compete at. She thinks that the sport also draws students because “it makes them feel comfortable to have the individual component of it and also be a part of a team.” She also added that “they are all learning at the same pace which makes everyone feel the team sense of togetherness.”

One of these students who is learning and loving every step of the way is Miracle Faller (12). She has attributed this all to the coaches and the players on the team. Like Joshi, Faller agrees that the best part of playing is the support and how comfortable she feels with the team.

Even though I’m not the best, I love knowing that I am continuously getting better in a supportive environment,” Faller said. This attitude started with Ms. Joshi, English teacher and coach Ms. Tara Young, and coach Ms. Patricia Chillemi. The coaches make sure to know that it is not always about wins and losses since everyone is so new to the sport, but it is about improving and the wins will come.

This year the teams are already much better than they were at this time last year. They have beaten Zion, Maine East, and McHenry which is a huge improvement. The Varsity team has not had a win yet this year but they are playing very well. Varsity tied with Waukegan and last year they lost by a lot. “It is a huge step for our team to show that we can play with the big schools.” Said Joshi

Faller and Joshi are so excited for the rest of the season and to see the program grow. They want everyone to come out and support their home game on senior night on Tuesday, April 2nd. This will be their biggest game of the year and would love support from the students.

(Badminton team cleaning up after game)

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The student newspaper of Vernon Hills High School
Rise of Badminton at VHHS