By Joel van der Veen
ROSETOWN — Two senior badminton teams from Loreburn Central School were among the champions crowned at the West Central districts on Saturday, April 25.
John Dodds and Austin Daniluk were victorious in the boys doubles category, while Shane Lafontaine and Karissa Rendall took top honours in mixed doubles.
Other competitors from Kenaston and Loreburn took part in both junior districts, held at Kindersley Composite School, and senior districts, held at Rosetown Central High School.
Also competing from Loreburn were Grade 7 student Alyssa Glubis and Grade 9 student Dodge Long, who competed in the girls and boys singles categories.
“They won everything except for their final matches,” said Grant Abbott, who coaches badminton at Loreburn. “I’m quite proud of their accomplishments.”
Abbott noted that Glubis will have two more years to compete as a junior, observing, “The future looks pretty bright for her.”
The two senior teams went undefeated in districts, each winning their medals.
Abbott said another senior Loreburn team — Brianna Jess and Tori Rendall — had qualified to compete in girls doubles. Both players are also on the DLK Attack 15U girls club volleyball team, which took part in provincials on Saturday, and so did not compete in Rosetown that day.
“It was a tough decision,” said Abbott, adding that he had been given advance notice. “I knew that ahead of time.”
Evan Pasternak, one of Kenaston School’s badminton coaches, reported that the school sent one junior team to districts, while others were unable to attend due to a leadership conference being held in Marengo.
Brody Yelich and Nolan Haugen competed in the boys doubles category, winning one game and losing two.
Pasternak said it was “a fun year” despite the drawback of such a short season, adding, “I think a lot of the students definitely started to improve their skills.”
Players competed in pre-sectionals and sectionals the previous week, determining their eligibility for the district championships.
Davidson School had planned to send a junior boys doubles team, Clay Murfitt and Derek Schmiedge, to Kindersley, but ultimately they were unable to attend due to a lack of transportation.
Senior champions were eligible to compete in regional championships, scheduled to take place in Regina, Melville, Carrot River and Meadow Lake on Saturday, May 2.
The provincial championships will follow on May 9 at Moose Jaw’s A. E. Peacock Collegiate.