2023 Varsity Open Badminton Championships

Kathy Wong, Staff Writer

The 2023 Varsity Open Badminton Championships were held in the North Gym at Arcadia High School (AHS) on Saturday, Mar. 25, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. The gym was filled with the cheers of students and the sound of rackets against birdies as the Apaches gave it their all against many different schools such as Mark Keppel, Fountain Valley, Choksey, Mira Costa, East Valley, San Marino and Cerritos, among others. The Apaches started off by warming up for the first 30 minutes, before facing against each other with doubles. AHS Badminton players won all five events and the results are below:

Boys Singles Winner: Matthew Yu

Girls Singles Winner: Reanne Chan, 2nd place: Angelina Chai

Girls Doubles Winner: Salina Tang/Vivian Pei, 2nd place: Annie Shih/Amanda Chang

Semifinalists: Leanne Cong/Charlene Lau

Boys Doubles Winner: Andrew Wu/Sidney Chang, 2nd place: Ricky Li/Lorin Leung

Mixed Doubles Winner: Angelina Chai/Andy Wu

Reflecting on the tournament, senior Reanne Chan and junior Amanda Chang shared their thoughts. 

“I had some good ideas during the match but I never used any of it because I was kind of scared it wouldn’t work…I feel like I could’ve just tried it out during the game. Usually I’m not too confident, but this time I was because I had good draws, I knew who I was gonna play so I think it was pretty smooth,“ said Chan.

“I think my partner and I did pretty well; what we could have done better is probably talk to each other more because it’s our first tournament together and we don’t usually play together, so I guess communication,” expressed Chang.

When asked if they were well prepared for the tournament, the girls described how they felt.

“I think I was very well prepared for this tournament because as the badminton season started, we’ve been having 3 to 4 days of training every week for high school badminton and on the other side, I also do outside of school badminton so that’s just like more training,” explained Chan.

Chang agreed with Chan, stating that the Boys and Girls Badminton teams have been training and preparing for the tournament and their coaches have helped them as well. Considering the fact that both members won a medal and that Arcadia won all five events, the girls talked about whether or not they expected these results.

“I think I did see this coming as I am a senior, this is my fourth year on the team. Usually in our Arcadia varsity tournament; schools in our league play, and I’ve played all of them for like a while, so I’m pretty confident in my skills,” Chan said.

“I guess sort of, because I think our school’s badminton team is pretty good and I think this year’s players are stronger than last year’s,” Chang stated.

When asked how they felt winning a medal and reaching an accomplishment both as a member of the team and with their teammates, they both expressed how happy they were.

“I felt …very happy to win first in my last Arcadia varsity tournament. I was just really happy and also very thankful to my school coaches and my teammates because with them, I’ve improved and I think just representing Arcadia just makes it feel more satisfying when winning and when you represent something that’s a lot bigger than just a team,” Chan replied.

“Even though I’m not really that close to my partner; I think we did pretty well, we tried to be encouraging with each other and I feel like winning a medal as a fellow teammate and as a member of the team feels nice because you’re winning for the team,” Chang explained.

With more than five schools from the area in the gym and everyone watching, it’s easy to feel intimidated and nervous. 

Chang admitted, “I guess [I feel nervous] a little bit because there’s like a lot of schools and the gym is full of people, like everyone everywhere, and when you’re playing, they’re all looking at you.”

Playing with other schools can open your eyes to specific areas that you can improve in or work on. Chan and Chang expressed whether they were lacking motivation or confident in their skills.

“A specific area I think I can work on is like supporting my teammates when they’re playing, like cheering them on because that can be very important in a game and like a close game. I guess skills, there’s still improvement that can be made,” Chang said.

After playing against many schools and winning the tournament, the girls reflected on what they could work on to improve on in future games.

“I’d say probably like my preparation towards a tournament, like maybe sleeping early or drinking more water, stuff like that before a tournament because I think that’s very important,” Chan reflected.

Congratulations to all the Apache medalists and thank you to all the high schools that showed up for the tournament! Best of luck to the AHS Badminton teams for future tournaments ahead!

Photo by Katrina Reghitto