The Fraser Valley Firehawks won a fourth consecutve gold medal at the B.C. High School Badminston Championships. Back row (left to right): David Dryden (coach), Daniel Kim, Ian Chen, David Kim, Daryl Yang, Ethan Liang, Ryan Liu, Sheldon Xu, Jasper Mai, Jenna Wong (Coach). Front row: Lily Niu, Samantha Hsu, Lucinda Liu, Tracy Chen, Sophini Purewal, Casey Xu, Sarah Chung. (Photo: submitted)

Record-setting championship run by Firehawks

Fraser Heights wins B.C. high school badminton title

On their way to a fourth consecutive B.C. High School Badminton Championship, the Fraser Heights Firehawks set a new record along the way.

At the 16-team tournament June 1-3 in Richmond, Fraser Heights won 40 of 44 matches in playoff competition, the most ever at the provincial tournament. Their fourth consecutive championship was also a new B.C. record.

Fraser Heights badminton coach David Dryden said this year’s championship was the most unlikely.

“Our top two girls had graduated and no school had won a provincial title without a provincially or nationally ranked girl on their roster in more than 10 years,” he said. “This was a serious challenge we needed to prepare for. Thankfully we had the strongest boys team in the province to lead the way while our girls worked exceptionally hard – harder than any group of players I have ever coached.

“And this past weekend, our efforts were rewarded.”

The Firehawks faced some their toughest tests in the four-team round robin. Fraser Heights won all three sets, but were just a combined 23-10.

The playoffs, however, were a different story. They swept the Sa-Hali Sabres of Kamloops in the round-of-16 and the Mt. Douglas Rams of Victoria in the quarterfinals in a pair of 11-0 sets, then topped the Pinetree Timberwolves of Coquitlam 10-1 in the semifinal round. Against Vancouver College/Little Flower in the championship, Fraser Heights prevailed 8-3.

“Former team captain, coach Jenna Wong, was an enormous asset in helping get the team ready to defend their title this year,” said Dryden. “And our current captains, Tracy Chen, Daryl Yang and David Kim, led by example when it counted the most. This is a phenomenal group of players which take pride in teamwork and being a Firehawk.”

Other team members on the 15-player squad were Sheldon Xu, Jasper Mai, Ian Chen, Daniel Kim, Ryan Liu, Ethan Liang, Sophini Purewal, Sarah Chung, Lily Niu, Casey Xu, Samantha Hsu and Lucinda Liu.