New league, no challenge

BADMINTON: The Brahmas remain undefeated due to the strength and diversity of the team members.

Junior Andrew Gao and sophomore Lucy Zhang play in a doubles match.

Emily Kim, Feature Editor

Dominating all of its matches, the Diamond Bar High School badminton team looks to continue their winning streak and then capture its fifth consecutive CIF title.

Out of the two preseason and three league matches that the team has competed in, the Brahmas have gone undefeated, with their closest match ending 16-5 against Arcadia High School. Although the matches have not proven to be difficult thus far, junior captain Justin Lam said the team continues to work hard to prepare for the rest of the season.

“Due to the fact that we are in a new league with new schools, there are many players that we have not faced before and facing the unknown is always a challenge,” Lam said

Besides Diamond Bar, only three other schools, Glen A. Wilson, Chino Hills, and Webb, are a part of the San Joaquin League of the California Interscholastic Federation. Head coach Kemp Wells believes that the league has not reached its full potential as the other badminton teams are not as strong as they have been in previous years, making the Brahmas favorites in the league matches.

Diamond Bar will be watching out for Long Beach Polytechnic High School, the team the Brahmas faced off against last year in the championship round of the CIF. However, Mira Costa High School, with a pair of strong freshmen and a solid group of returning players, along with Cerritos High School, will also be a challenge for DB, according to Wells.

With numerous reliable players in all five events, boys singles and doubles, girls singles and doubles, and mixed doubles, the Brahmas go into the rest of the season with confidence. Many players train outside of school practices in clubs such as the Global Badminton Academy making the team even stronger.

“We hope that we can add at least one if not two more teams next year into the league so we can have a really nice strength in the league and have six teams like other sports get to have,” Wells said.

Joining a league has given the team more opportunities to play matches compared to last year when it played only four games before competing in playoffs. Even though the Brahmas were not a part of a league at the time, they managed to clinch their fourth consecutive CIF title.

“It’s nice so the players feel as though the sport matters to more than just them.” Wells said. “When we just played six matches before we got to playoffs and we had no league finals, it’s almost like it’s not as important as it should be compared to how hard most of these players work and how strong they end up being as a team.”