Athlete of the Month: Jonah Perea

Senior+Jonah+Perea+has+competed+in+numerous+badminton+tournaments%2C+but+also+competes+with+the+Dance+Company.

Calvin Ru

Senior Jonah Perea has competed in numerous badminton tournaments, but also competes with the Dance Company.

Emily Kim, Feature Editor

As captain of one of the fastest racket sports, senior Jonah Perea has made his mark on both the badminton team and All-Male.

Perea started playing badminton five years ago after his parents discovered the sport and encouraged him to try it since he   dropped golf.

Since then, Perea has trained with an outside badminton club, the Global Badminton Academy, and it was the members there that motivated him to progress in the sport.

“One of our key players is Jonah Perea. He’s been on varsity for four years and he can play any of the three events open to him,” head coach Kemp Wells said.

Perea earned his spot on the varsity team during his freshman year and continued to prove himself game after game. He was co-captain alongside alumni Ivorine Do and Tim Chiu during his junior year and now shares the title of captain with junior Justin Lam.

According to Perea, one of his greatest accomplishments was making it to the semifinal rounds at the USA Badminton Junior Nationals, where he played one of his first singles matches.

“It’s not just some dumb sport that you play in the backyard with your friends or at a picnic or anything like that because badminton is one of the fastest racket sports in the world. It’s harder than you would think,” Perea said.

However, Perea not only proves himself on the court but on the dance floor as well. Perea has been dancing for three years and is a lieutenant of All-Male.

Although both badminton and dance take up a lot of his time, he is able to balance the two activities because of scheduling. As the badminton team approaches its more difficult matches, the dance season is coming to a close.

Perea’s skill in badminton has crossed over to his dancing and helped him improve as a dancer as well.

He has more stamina, which helps him dance for longer periods of time. With footwork, Perea uses his knowledge of moving around a court whenever he danced, giving him more mobility on the dance floor.

Perea considered dropping the sport since he felt as though he played for his parents rather than for his own benefit. It was through finding other athletes who also enjoyed playing badminton that encouraged him to continue developing his skills in the sport.

Although Perea plans on participating in local tournaments, he intends to place more emphasis on improving in dance rather than badminton next year.

“Playing with them [others who enjoyed badminton] really boosted my ego, not in a cocky way but more of in a sportsmanship kind of way,” Perea said. “I feel like I got found more in badminton because other people were doing it and they were doing so much with it that I felt I could do that much with it as well.”