Badminton team working hard

Since the beginning of March, RB’s badminton team has been working hard to become stronger players by practicing six days a week in the gym from 3:30 to 5:30. 

After being divided into JV and Varsity teams from the start of the season, the female athletes warm-up almost every day by exercises that strengthen their cardio and agility skills.  A few times a week, they even make trips to the weight room. 

Tom Rocco coaches JV badminton.  “My favorite part of coaching badminton is watching the players develop their skills and see their improvement from the beginning of the year to the end of the year,” he said.

Valerie McIntyre instructs the Varsity team.  “I look for athletes who work hard and show dedication. I also look for athletes with leadership qualities,” she said.

The sport of badminton requires focus, agility, dedication, and effort.  “We have days when we jog indoors or outdoors, and have had some practices in the weight room,” said freshman Stephanie Wolff, a member of the Junior Varsity team. 

They’ve lately just had their Freshman/Sophomore RB invite on the 10th of April as well as an away game in Downers Grove on April 5th.  RB’s badminton team has also played Morton, Glenbard South, and just recently on April 12th, Plainfield. 

“The team took 4th place at the East Aurora Invite and 3rd place at the RB invite this past weekend,” Rocco said, “Also in the RB JV invite, Sarah Otmanski took 1st place for #2 singles, while Aneliese Gibson took 2nd place for #1 singles.  Kelsey Stirek and Samantha Schelthoff took 2nd place in #2 doubles.” 

There are twelve spots on Varsity. “Depending on what we are playing (a quad, a dual, a tournament) determines how we would set up the singles and doubles positions,” McIntyre said. 

Every practice, JV and Varsity warm-up together, perfecting their techniques as well as mental focus.  So far, they have taken 1st place at a Bulldog invite with the Bolingbrook Squad and the Leyden East Quad. 

“We beat OPRF 9-6, which has a very strong program,” said McIntyre. Varsity and J/V usually warm up together and then go their separate ways in practices. The teammates strengthen their strategy and coordination skills every day. They practice both singles and doubles matches in preparation for their position in actual games. 

McIntyre reflected on working with the girls on her team by saying, “I love seeing how hard they work and how dedicated they are to the sport. Also, they make me laugh every day.”