Current seniors Eugenie Juan and Isabelle Winardi first became friends when they met one another in 9th grade PE. After a brief introduction to badminton, they both realized how much they enjoyed playing the sport, and formed Chino Hills High School’s first Badminton Club in the autumn of their sophomore year.
During Club Rush, Juan and Winardi recruited many members to join this new sport. However, because badminton was not yet an official school sport, the two girls had a difficult time reserving the gym for their club members to use. After multiple negotiations with the activities director, the athletics office, and ASB, Juan and Winardi finally convinced the school that badminton deserved gym time just like any other sport.
The two girls successfully continued the club throughout 10th grade, and the following year, they submitted a petition to the athletics office asking for the club to be transformed into an official school team.
When they returned in the autumn of their senior year, Juan and Winardi were called into the athletics office and notified of badminton’s metamorphosis from club to team.
The two girls consulted with club adviser Douglas Hardman about holding weekly meetings in his classroom for anyone interested in joining the newly formed team.
By the middle of winter, nearly 30 students had expressed interest in the team. Furthermore, two PE coaches, Larry Moore and Don Grant, volunteered to lead the new team under Chino Hills High athletic director Phil Garcia.
A couple of months after the start of the new year, badminton nets and posts were shipped to Chino Hills High, white lines dictating court boundaries were taped onto the gym floor, and tryouts were announced.
Tryouts were conducted by former Badminton Club officers Juan and Winardi, and after new recruits to the varsity, junior varsity, and frosh-soph team were announced, practice promptly began.
Because this was Chino Hills High’s first year with a badminton team, tryouts and practices began much later at CHHS than at most other schools. Nonetheless, with frosh-soph and JV attending morning practices and varsity practicing after school, Chino Hills High was forced to whip itself into shape in under a month’s time.
The Huskies’ badminton season began on March 17 and ended almost two months later on May 14.
Although the team consisted of 12 varsity players, only 4 of them, Vincent Baugh, I-chen Lin, Juan and Winardi, were able to successfully win any of their games during the entire season, but considering the team’s circumstances, it is admirable that these players were able to win any matches for their school at all.
During league finals, Diamond Bar and Wilson swept the first place titles in both doubles and singles. However, Winardi managed to win 3rd place for women’s singles, qualifying her for the CIF Southern Section Individual Championships.
On May 14, Winardi competed in the CIF tournament. Although she lost in the first round, the rest of the team was proud that she even qualified, considering how all of the Chino Hills players had minimal coaching or outside instruction and it was the team’s first year competing against other schools.
Although Juan and Winardi, the club officers turned team captains, will soon be graduating from Chino Hills High School, they have passed on the team to underclassmen Baugh and Lin in the hopes of continuing the team for many more years to come.