PCI's Willmore (boys) and Gordon (girls), win junior badminton gold in singles
Monday, April 23, 2018
By Rob J. Ross
TILLSONBURG, ON. - Their time put in at practice is paying off for the East Elgin Eagles.
Led by their WOSSAA qualifiers, Kayla Voros and Rachel Sawatzky, in girls’ singles and four doubles teams, the East Elgin Eagles won Thames Valley Regional Athletics (TVRA) South-East Division junior badminton team title.
Parkside took both the boys and girls' singles titles, with Blake Willmore and Hailey Gordon, winning gold, at the double knockout tournament, hosted by Glendale high school.
Glencoe District High won both the boys' and mixed doubles titles and it was an all Woodstock College Avenue final in girls' doubles.
The top four in each of the five divisions (boys and girls' singles and doubles, mixed doubles) advance to the WOSSAA tournament, Thursday, at Saunders high school, in London.
"They work hard in practice. They put in a lot of time at practice. For three hours sometimes. They love the sport and they keep coming out," said Eagles’ coach Bob Lama of his players. "The interest in badminton at our school has really taken off.
"The secret is work hard, enjoy what you’re going and learn to play together, cooperate and communicate together."
Willmore enjoyed quickly putting away his opponents, not dropping a game in any of his matches, including Glendale’s Jayden King, in the boys’ singles final.
"Smash and serving," said Willmore, on what was working for him. "I’ve had little issues with serves lately, so it made a big difference not missing too many of those. It can be a lot of points I don’t want to give up. Keep scores down, without giving up 10 points, that’s what I’m trying to do."
Last year at WOSSAA, Willmore finished top eight in Grade nine and he’s aiming higher this season.
"I want to medal. Top three at WOSSAA. That’s the goal."
Willmore has only dropped one match this season, to a Medway competitor, during the Banting tournament.
Top four at TVRA South-East / WOSSAA qualifiers
Boys Singles 1. Blake Willmore(PCI) 2. Jayden King (GHS) 3. Ethan Vlemmix (IDCI) 4. Blake Roy (GHS) Girls Singles 1. Haley Gordon (PCI) 2. Kayla Voros (EESS) 3. Rachel Sawatzky (EESS) 4. Sheesh Kuiper (CECI) Boys Doubles 1. Sam Sharpe / Ethan Carruthers (GDHS) 2. Travis Bugeja / Stephen DeVries (LDSS) 3. Joseph Lasook / Dalton Versteegen (EESS) 4. Colby Underhill / Brody Van Roestel (EESS) Girls Doubles 1. Meaghan Chittick / Hailey Freisen (CASS) 2. Erin Departie / Julia Colcuc (CASS) 3. Mackenzie Wiebe / Abby DeCoutere (EESS) 4. Lydia Jocius / Paige Doherty (WESS) Mixed Doubles 1. Dylan Gould / Megan Hamilton (GDHS) 2. Eric Mclellan / Leaha Johnston (LDSS) 3. Mikayla Dunn / Adam Dekraker (EESS) 4. Bryce Gnidec / Katrina Wohlgemut (LDSS)
Legend: CASS - College Avenue Secondary school; CECI - Central Elgin Collegiate Institute; EESS - East Elgin secondary school
GHS - Glendale high school; GDHS - Glencoe District high school; IDCI - Ingersoll District Collegiate Institute;
PCI - Parkside Collegiate Institute; WESS - West Elgin secondary school.