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BCHS qualifies 15 for badminton provincials

Single and doubles team make it to the championship stream and finish in the Top 8
The Barrhead Composite High School badminton team took time to pose for a group picture during the provincial badminton championships in Lloydminister. Back row (L-R): Reid Stephani, Zach Nanninga, Kaden Tuininga, Kyle DeVries, Kayden Rentz, Mickey Strydhorst and Nate Callihoo. Front row (L-R): Coach Jamie Robinson, Coach Kevin Geinger, Desia Geinger, Haven Schmidt, Courtney Stoik, Lunay Wepener, Antija Quintilio, Miriam Greilach, Cheyenne Grosman, Bailey Smith and Charlee Elzinga.

BARRHEAD - Several Barrhead Composite High School (BCHS) senior high school students qualified for the championship stream at the Alberta High Schools' Athletic Association  (ASAA) badminton championships in Lloydminster May 5-6.

"Which when you think about it is pretty impressive," said Kevin Geinger, who co-coaches the BCHS senior high school badminton team with Jamie Robinson.

He noted that they were competing against schools that play badminton year-round compared to the relatively short month-and-a-half season.

After a few practices, the team played in a one-day exhibition tournament in Mayerthorpe before hosting the conference finals April 19.

Unfortunately, the BCHS squad suffered a bit of a letdown the next week, Geinger noted, with results below what the school usually sees.

He attributed that, at least in part, to a higher level of competition, saying he believed during the pandemic years, players' skill levels suffered.

However, despite the somewhat disappointing result, BCHS was still able to send 23 athletes to the April 26 zone competition at the Saville Centre in Edmonton, with five doubles winning gold, one taking silver, and all three single competitors taking gold, an accomplishment that earned them the North Central 3A Zone Championship Banner.

Winning gold were Kayden Rentz and Nate Callihoo in senior boys doubles, Haven Schmidt and Courtney Stoik in senior girls doubles, Antija Quintilio in intermediate girl singles, Kyle DeVries and Zach Nanninga in intermediate boys doubles, Charlee Elzinga and Mickey Strydhorst in intermediate mixed doubles, Kayden Tuininga in intermediate boys singles, Lunay Wepener in junior girls singles and Bailey Smith and Reid Stephani in junior mixed doubles. Winning silver were Cheyenne Grosman and Miriam Greilach in intermediate girls doubles.

Their performances also allowed BCHS to send 15 players to provincials.

The first day of the championship was a round-robin tournament to determine whether athletes could compete in the championship or consolation streams. The two in each pool moved on to the championship stream. Lunay Wepner moved on to the championship side on the singles, along with the doubles team of Courtney Stoik and Haven Schmidt, placing all three in the top eight for the province.

"On the championship side, there are a lot of club players that play all year, while our kids only play for about a month and a half, so for us to have a singles competitor and a doubles team qualify for the championship stream is a big deal," Geinger said.

On the consolation side, Reid Stephani and Bailey Smith took gold in junior mixed doubles finishing ninth overall, and Kyle DeVries and Zach Nanninga took the consolation silver in intermediate boys doubles finishing 10th overall after losing a very close match.

"I'm so proud of our team. Not only our performances, but how they represented our school with class and sportsmanship," he said. "This is a special group of young people."

Barry Kerton,


Barry Kerton

About the Author: Barry Kerton

Barry Kerton is the managing editor of the Barrhead Leader, joining the paper in 2014. He covers news, municipal politics and sports.
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