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Metea Valley hosts badminton tryouts

Metea Valley’s badminton program seeks to form bonds between players and reach great heights. 

Metea Valley’s badminton program has evolved immensely since its founding. School counselor and varsity coach Nicole Liska was the assistant coach when the badminton program initially opened in Metea in 2009. When it was originally founded, inexperienced freshmen and sophomores would end up having to go to competitions. 

“Initially, we didn’t win any matches, and we celebrated when we would just even score a point,” Liska said. 

However, as years passed, Metea now has a competitive badminton program. According to Liska, the players build a family within the team, and that family continues to grow every year. 

Metea Valley’s badminton program has 3 teams – varsity, junior varsity, and freshman. The varsity team can have players at any age level and typically has many junior and senior members. Junior varsity is open to freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, but, generally, junior varsity is composed of mainly sophomores. Only freshmen can try out for the freshmen team.

Coaches host a tryout for potential badminton players before the start of every season. Anyone willing may try out even if they have not played the sport in the past. The tryout schedule is very easy to follow.      

“Tryouts the first day [are] pretty chill,” sophomore Devangi Kohli said; she played on the varsity team in the previous season. “You don’t really do a lot, and it’s just a lot of information. Then you start to play more each day, you go into singles and doubles to kind of feel out which people you play the best with.” 

In the past, around 75-100 girls have tried out, with 40-50 making it into the program.  When assessing players during tryouts, coaches look at a variety of things such as hustle, skill level, movements, and racket skills. 

“When we come down to the end, honestly, we look at grades too because our philosophy is always you are a student before you are an athlete,” coach Liska said.

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Dhiya is a sophomore and a reporter for The Stampede. She enjoys creative writing, music, art, and spending time with friends. She is also a classical dancer and spends an unnecessary amount of time daydreaming about and watching Tamil cinema.
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