It will be a busy, short season of local high school badminton.
© Times-Herald photo by Matthew Gourlie
Kashton Janzen from Avonlea returns a shot in boys doubles action Thursday at the Moose Jaw High School Badminton senior league night at Peacock.
The first Moose Jaw High School Badminton senior league night saw 77 competitors take part in five categories as six schools were represented.
"We think we're up from last year. All of the categories are pretty much full with a couple of extras thrown in," said Behrns. "That gives us great pools and more matches. Having more kids out is exciting," said league commissioner Leigh Behrns.
For the second straight year the competitors were divided into two pools and then played a crossover game to determine seeding.
Typically schools send two competitors in each category, but there is a chance to enter a third team if there is room.
"If some school can't field a full team we say there's an extra spot and see if a school has a third team that wants to take that extra spot," said Behrns who said that has been a good opportunity for some Grade 10 teams that were playing juniors to get some more experience in senior competition.
"We've had some Grade 10 teams sneak up," said Behrns. "We realigned things. The juniors are back to a (Grade) 9-10 city final. We had some Grade 10s who were in the middle — I can't pay in the bantam finals, but if I play senior I'm going to get crushed. We didn't want to lose any 10s. So we're back to having a 9-10 junior city final and we'll pull out the best Grade 9s to go to the bantam districts."
Max Pilsworth from Central went unbeaten and beat Aaron Hill from Vanier 21-12 to finish on top of the boys singles standings. Nathan Lewis from Cornerstone downed Brayden Harrison from Avonlea 21-11 in the third-place crossover game.
In girls singles play Libby Epoch beat Jaycee Richards 21-14 in an all-Peacock final. Both were unbeaten in pool play.
Sabrina Lybeck Riverview defeated Shelby Gadd Cornerstone 21-8 in the third place crossover.
In mixed doubles play Central's Dalton Wolfe and Paige Newans beat fellow Cyclones Dax Whitehead and Emily Pinter x-x in the crossover game to finish first.
In boys doubles Ryley Ludwar and Kashton Janzen from Avonlea beat Peacock's Blake Olsen and Austin Taylor 21-13 in the crossover final. Peacock's Kyle Arndt and Stephen Holzer beat Aonlea's Sheldon Daniel and Logan Beingessner 21-13 to finish third.
In an all-Cornerstone girls doubles final Morgan Patsack and Justine Dalgarno beat Laura Taylor and Yu Suzuki 21-9. Marissa Wilson and Diana Lumbala won the all-Central third-place game as they defeated Stephanie O'Byrne and Jeneba Dukuly 21-14.
Because Prairie South and Holy Trinity are on different school calendars their Easter break weeks aren't the same. Instead of playing during one of the weeks off, the league will have their league final on Thursday, Apr. 10.
"It's very compressed. We have two league nights every week," said Behrns. "We wanted to try to finish the season before either school system goes on Easter break."
The South Central regional tournament will be held on Apr. 29, but the teams will have a district team practice night the week before to try to shake off the rust.
"Even thought we've settled everything we're going to have a night where everyone who has qualified for districts to come and play. It's more practice after the break," said Behrns.
In Wednesday's first junior league night of the season Meko Cridland from Peacock was first in boys singles followed by Alex Fish of Central and Jesse Lewis from Cornerstone.
Sabrina Lybeck from Riverview was tops in girls singles, while Awar Odhiang from Cornerstone was second and Kendall Bistretzin from Vanier was third.
Nathan Lewis and Morgan Patsack from Cornerstone were first in mixed doubles and were followed by Carter Lewis and Justine Dalgarno from Cornerstone and Jenna Coates and Tyler Ma from Vanier.
Jesse Lewis and Nathan Godard from Cornerstone finished first in boys doubles, followed by Cornerstone's Carter Lewis and Nathan Lewis and Peacock's Chris Roney and Andrew Larmour.
Shelby Anderson and Sara Marshall from Peacock were first in girls doubles, while
Justine Dalgarno and Morgan Patzack from Cornerstone finished second and Dah Mu and Kim Butalon from Central were third.