What’s next for the Edina Girls Badminton team?

Pavithra Sankar, Staff Writer

High school graduation is one of the most significant moments in a student’s life, marking the transition from childhood to adulthood. Even beyond the traditional ceremony, graduation is especially personal to the Edina Girl’s Badminton Team. In previous years, the team has lost many of their top athletes as they’ve graduated from Edina High School. With these new hurdles to overcome, the upcoming season signifies a time of new beginnings for the team as players adapt to recent modifications. 

Like all of the sports offered at Edina, the team routinely welcomes new players into the activity, helping inexperienced members gain expertise in the sport. However, with the unpredictability of the 2020-21 school year, they’ve encountered a shortage of higher-level athletes who were able to coach the novice players. “This year has been difficult as most of our players have lost a year of development. In the past, we have had our high-level players help the newer players—we still do that—but there aren’t as many players as in previous years,” Coach Margo Henke said. 

While the COVID-19 outbreak caused students to miss out on a season of training, captains and coaches are determined to utilize their resources and rebuild the skill set of both new and returning players. “When I became a captain, one of my first goals was to make sure we focused on helping not only the varsity players improve but also the new players. This year, especially with a smaller team, we have really been able to help the new players right from the start to understand the rules and improve their badminton skills,” Captain and senior Ruthie Lundberg said. 

Moreover, as graduation is coming up for senior leaders on the team, they hope players learn valuable life lessons through their leadership. “Overall, I want to be an example of persistence and resilience for the team. It’s so easy to become discouraged when you are losing, I’ve seen it many times, but if you push through there’s still a chance. Even if you don’t win a match, you can still play a good game,” Lundberg said. 

Despite facing an abundance of setbacks, the team continues to encourage a new group of girls to enjoy their time on the court. “The fun and challenge and why we coach is to see new players develop as athletes and more importantly as confident young women,” Henke said.