For the second time in three seasons, the Fraser Heights Firehawks are B.C. high school badminton champions.
The Surrey school edged St. George’s/Crofton House 6-5 in Saturday’s final, capping a 58-8 (won-lost) run over the three-day tournament May 29-31 at the Ace Badminton Centre in Richmond.
Provincial champions in 2012 and the runner-up team last season, the Firehawks were one match short of the 59 wins achieved by H.J. Cambie Secondary at the 1999 tournament. They were 33-0 in round robin play, matching the achievement of the 1999 Cambie group to become just the second team to go undefeated through the first day of competition.
The Firehawks lost 6-5 to St. George’s/Crofton House in last year’s championship match.
“The performance of the team at this year’s championship was phenomenal,” said Fraser Heights coach David Dryden. “They really peaked at the right time and won the provincial championship in a mirror-image final of last year, all while ending one match short of the all-time win-loss record.”
The Firehawks won all five boys matches (four doubles, one singles) in the final, but lost the five girls matches. The deciding game was a mixed doubles contest, where Grade 10 player Jack Lin and Grade 12 player Emma Lin (not related) swept their opponents 21-13, 21-16.
Fraser Heights boasted two national team players on their roster. Grade 11 James Ho, the only undefeated player at the provincials, is a member of the under-19 national team while Grade 10 Jenna Wong in on the under-16 side.
Other team members include Grade 8 Daryl Yan, Grade 11s Isaac Chang, Muen Guo and Ben Hwang, and Grade 12 Jenkin Chu in the boys group, and Grade 11s Lily Cheng, Kitty Qiu, Stella So and Alison Wu, and grade 12 Tiffany Chen on the girls squad.
“I am really proud of the work ethic of the team and the six rookies,” said Dryden. “Everyone pulled together when it was needed most and earned revenge for last year’s heart-breaking defeat.”