Fraser Heights Secondary’s badminton team with its 2019 provincial championship banner in Victoria. Pictured in the back row, left to right, are coach David Dryden, Derick Yuan, Jasper Mai, Leo Shu, Andrew Chung, Sheldon Xu, Daniel Yang and Tim Lang. Girls in the front row are Sophini Purewal, Meelan Tu, Lily Niu, Christie Xu, Tracy Wang, Sarah Chung and Chantel Guo. (submitted photo)

In badminton, Surrey school nets six straight provincial championships

Fraser Heights Firehawks fly again at 16-team tourney in Victoria

The badminton dynasty continues at Fraser Heights Secondary.

The Surrey school team won its sixth consecutive provincial badminton championship at a tournament in Victoria on Saturday, June 1.

The 2019 title places Fraser Heights second all-time with seven provincial wins in badminton – an impressive tally, given the school’s opening date in 1999 and existence of competitive badminton in B.C. schools since 1974.

This according to David Dryden, who volunteers his time to coach at his former high school.

The 14 members of his current Firehawks team made history by becoming B.C.’s first ever “six-peat” badminton champs, he said.

• RELATED STORY: Surrey badminton team wins fifth consecutive provincial championship, from 2018.

This year’s banner marks the school’s seventh ever provincial championship, in any sport, to go along with the badminton program’s first six, in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

“After our championship performance last year, we had five of our 10 starting athletes graduating,” Dryden told the Now-Leader. “Thankfully our ‘bench’ was prepared to commit to the off-season work to fill those gaps in our lineup.

“Twelve months later the experienced and the ‘rookies’ came together under pressure and succeeded against all that the other schools could throw at us,” he added. “Steveston-London is one of the best schools in B.C. and our toughest matches in each of the past two years have been against their squad. Thankfully we came through clutch. It is a great time to be a Firehawk.”

Fraser Heights’ co-ed team includes Andrew Chung, Tim Lang, Sheldon Xu, Daniel Yang, Jasper Mai, Leo Shu, Derick Yuan, Christie Xu, Chantel Guo, Sophini Purewal, Meelan Tu, Tracy Wang, Sarah Chung and Lily Niu.

The 16-team provincial tournament was played at three venues in Victoria from May 30 to June 1. Scores and final standings are posted at bcschoolbadminton.com.

Another team from South Surrey’s Semiahmoo Secondary placed sixth in the tourney.

In the final, the Firehawks topped Steveston-London by a score of 8-3.

“Our 39-5 playoff win-loss record for the tournament tied 2018, which was second to the 40-4 record we set in 2017,” Dryden noted.

“The final was the rematch of the 2018 semi-final which was the toughest battle of the tournament for us vs. Steveston-London.

“We were upset at the start of the final match going down 2 (losing both Girls Doubles) but our boys valiantly persevered upsetting their boys and tying it up 2-2. We gained momentum by taking both Boys & Girls Singles providing a 4-2 lead then never looking back, riding that momentum for the last half of the match, finishing 8-3.”

The boys doubles (Daniel Yang and Derick Yuan, Tim Lang and Jasper Mai) went undefeated in the finals with Sheldon Xu in Singles carrying the team to victory, Dryden added.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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