On the path to success, again

BADMINTON Following a sixth straight CIF title, the team sets high goals in a tougher league.

Seniors+Brian+Ng%2C+left%2C+and+Kevin+Nea+practice+as+a+doubles+team.
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On the path to success, again

Seniors Brian Ng, left, and Kevin Nea practice as a doubles team.

Seniors Brian Ng, left, and Kevin Nea practice as a doubles team.

Photos by INGRID CHAN

Seniors Brian Ng, left, and Kevin Nea practice as a doubles team.

Photos by INGRID CHAN

Photos by INGRID CHAN

Seniors Brian Ng, left, and Kevin Nea practice as a doubles team.

Ingrid Chan, Asst. Photo Editor

After winning its sixth consecutive CIF title last year, the Diamond Bar High School badminton team is heading full tilt toward number seven. Although the Brahmas lost a few core seniors to graduation last year, the team still consists of many talented players and a handful of promising underclassmen.

‘“We should receive the No. 1 seed again, and, though I know it’s really early in the season to say that, we’ve won it so many years in a row, and we did return a big core of our team,” head coach Kemp Wells said.

The team has played eight non-league games and one scrimmage with Arcadia, which has given Wells a good idea of where they stand among their competition.

Since Arcadia has one of the better badminton teams, DB’s scrimmage with them turned out to be a close game. However, the Brahmas played without three of their starters, which may have affected the outcome of the scrimmage, according to Wells. He also stated that he hopes this gives the team an edge once league play begins.

Besides Arcadia, Mira Costa also seems to be a strong competitor for the title, as they have a strong lineup of underclassmen.

“We did have some really close games, but we should be able to pull through if we have all our strong players present,” Wells said. “I don’t anticipate losing.”

The team is keeping themselves on their toes by constantly switching up the lineup whenever they have matches with other schools. Wells claims that almost every varsity player is multi-talented and flexible enough to be moved around to different match types with ease.

This shuffling is necessary for Wells to observe who does or doesn’t work well together, and it is also useful for making players adapt to different partners and situations. In the games they have played so far, none of the matches have been the same.

“It can be dangerous,” Wells said. “If it’s an important match, we’ll always work on the pairs and how well they play together the day before.”

Wells currently has his eye on three promising freshmen who have been key additions to the varsity team. Freshmen Claire Wang, Megan Lee and Connor Lam have played well in the most recent matches. Lam is the younger brother of last year’s captain Justin Lam and is exceptionally adept at playing men’s singles. Wang and Lee are capable of playing well in both women’s singles and doubles.

The team’s best all-round players, however, include seniors Ambrose So and Jasmine Wang and junior Mirabelle Wang. Senior Crystal Wai and junior Miranda Lee are the most active women’s singles players, while seniors Vanessa Do and Lucy Zhang are the main women’s doubles players.

“I’m not worried about how the underclassmen will do without us next year, especially since we have some potential freshmen who are really good,” co-captain Do said.