Boys’ Badminton Starts Off Strong in a Blowout Win

The boys’ varsity badminton team starts the season with a blowout win but hopes to improve playing against stronger opponents as the season unfolds.

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Stuyvesant’s boys’ varsity badminton team played their first game of the season against Martin L. King Jr. High School in the afternoon of September 28, 2018 with one goal in mind—to come away with a win. Despite the gaps left by graduated players, the team was able to outmatch their opponents and won singles and doubles matches with a final overall score of 5-0.

The singles matches were led by juniors Masataka Mizuno and Kaung Khan Soe and senior and co-captain Benjamin Ang. Both the singles and doubles teams outranked Martin L. King’s players and did not lose a single round.

Senior and co-captain James Lee explained that the team did not gain this win without hardships. “Since many of our good players graduated last year, we've had to invest a lot of time improving our play. We now put a bigger emphasis on drills, footwork, conditioning, and technique,” Lee said.

However, the team had a devastating loss to Seward Park Campus on October 1, 2018. Despite the effort from all team members, the team was unable to compete with the better-trained players. Both the singles and doubles matches were taken by Seward, and Stuyvesant took the loss with a score of 5-0.

Though the gap in skill was large, Lee believes that Seward was able to win mainly due to his team’s excessive mistakes. “After we were swept by Seward, we realized that our games had some deficiencies that Seward was able to exploit. I personally felt that the difference in our skill levels were at [the] worst minute, but the [number] of unforced errors we committed in contrast to them ultimately led to their victory,” Lee said.

In order to improve, Ang credits coach Marvin Autry for the enhanced footwork drills and specialized practices following the game against Seward. “The coach has been trying to drill footwork into us to get us to move and play faster to counter the professionally trained Seward and Brooklyn [Technical High School],” Ang said.

Lee also believes in the importance of proper technique over practice games. “Of course, practice games are still an integral part of our practices, but we've realized that practicing improper technique is extremely harmful to our in-game performance, so nowadays, we play with a focus on perfecting our technique,” Lee said.

The team bounced back from their loss and went on a two-game streak against Dr. Susan S. Mckinney School of Art and High School of Fashion Industries on October 10, 2018 and October 12, 2018, respectively. However, they were unable to beat Brooklyn Tech, placing them third in the central division with a record of 3-2.

Despite the challenges ahead, the team is still optimistic about the season. “We're confident that we can make it to the playoffs, but we know it will be extremely difficult to progress to the championships knowing that we will probably be matched against a very tough opponent in the first round,” Lee said.