The SD Badminton team was crowned league champions for the first time in SD history with an 11-1 record this season. Cici Lin ’23 and Stanley Ma ’23 led the way for the team in the singles competition with dominating performances all season long, while Becky Xiang ’23 and Pinkie Chan ’24 led the way in the women's doubles. Kevin Yang ’25 and Martin Peng ’25 also contributed as the top pair in Men's Doubles.
Head Coach Julie Lazarin said winning the league title this year is bittersweet. "It feels great being crowned league champions. However, I'm also overcome with a sense of sadness knowing that this is my last year as the head coach." In addition to being the head coach, Julie has also been a resident faculty (RF) for the past 11 years, helping care for the boarding students. "My relationship with them exists beyond the 3-5 pm time frame when we're on the court. I genuinely know the students that are on my team. I see them at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I take care of them when they are sick. I drive them to doctor appointments. We're a family, and our team is that much better because we care deeply about each other."
That much has been evident during pivotal moments throughout the season. "One of our players lost a close match against a strong opponent midway through the season. He took the loss particularly hard and needed a moment outside to collect himself. Several players followed behind to put an arm around his shoulder and be there for him. The team learned a valuable lesson that day. Badminton is a game that is based on respect. They learned how to lose gracefully and bounce back from a defeat. The player who lost that day beat the opponent convincingly when he played that player again later in the season. At that moment, I knew we would win the league title."
Next up, the team heads to the NCS Championships for team and individual competition. This year’s competition will be held May 14 at Washington High School in Fremont, starting at 8:30 am. Come on down and cheer for our mad baddies!