Fifth straight CIF title

BADMINTON: With another title under their belt, the Brahmas are ready to defend it.

Emily Kim, Sports Editor

Claiming the CIF title for the fifth year in a row and remaining undefeated in league, the Diamond Bar High School varsity badminton team has continued its legacy of domination.

The Brahmas faced off against Mira Costa High School on May 7 in the final round of the championship series, winning 19-2. The team’s margin of victory in the title game was even larger this season compared to last year’s 16-5 win against Long Beach Polytechnic High School.

“It’s very rewarding to see our players’ hard work actually come to fruition,” head coach Kemp Wells said. “It just shows how hard the players work, not necessarily how hard I work cause they’ve got to go out on the court.”

According to Wells, the vast amount of strong players on both the boys and girls side of the team contributed greatly to clinching the title. Although the Brahmas lost some games, they would be able to make up the lost points in other matches.

“We can all play every single event really, so if we have someone who is not performing well that day or isn’t prepared we can always replace them with someone else,” junior captain Justin Lam said.

The Brahmas maintained an impressive track record leading up to the final round, defeating Cypress High School in the semifinals 17-4 and Garr 20-1 in the quarterfinals. The team lost a only seven matches throughout its four playoff games.

“This was by far the best score we’ve put up. 19-2 is pretty impressive,” Wells said.

Despite what the scores look like, the games were still close. With individual sports not reflecting scores the same way as team sports, the scores are deceptive of how competitive the matches truly are, according to Wells.

Regardless of the seniors leaving the team, Wells does not foresee any major decline in strength, as the current lineup in the championship games includes only three senior players out of 12.

Wells hopes to split the team in half for the next spring season to give more players time on the court. This will allow Diamond Bar to be more competitive and possibly place both first and second in league.

According to Wells, using a substitution rule similar to tennis would also allow for more Brahmas to play since no switches on the starting lineup can be made during badminton matches.

Both captains of the team, senior Jonah Perea and Lam, were standout players this season, with Perea scoring two victories and Lam scoring four in CIF. Sophomore Ambrose So also stood out on the boys side, according to Wells.

Freshmen Angela Zhang and Mirabelle Huang as well as sophomore Jasmine Huang also made major contributions to the team.

There were several medal winners among the Brahmas that placed at CIF Individuals on May 13. Mirabelle Huang and Lam placed first for mixed doubles. Junior Vinson Chiu and So also placed first for boys doubles and seniors Brenton Hwee and Jeff Chow placed eighth. Junior Gwen Wang and Jasmine Huang placed second for girls doubles. Sophomore Crystal Wai placed eighth in girls singles.

The team will play in the Southern California regional tournament at the San Gabriel Valley Badminton Club in El Monte on May 21.