State Semifinalists Hang Cleats to Hit the Birdie

Bryan Neels, Writer

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Last fall the Barnesville Trojans made it to the State Tournament and lost to number one seed Caledonia. After this loss the school was left in shambles. The decision was made by the Barnesville coaching staff due to popular opinion. They believed it was in best intent for student safety. Senior Captain Kieran Johnson stated, “I think it’s best that we leave the football scene for badminton. I think the juniors will have a better chance at that.” Along with Johnson’s concern for the team, some parents have also voiced their opinion. Junior Jalen Plath’s mother Crystal Plath stated, “I’ve seen my Jalen on that field, and I never thought it was safe. I think he’ll have a lot more fun playing badminton.” The school board decided on badminton due to the lack of physical contact in the sport. A good portion of students who have heard about the decision are not happy, freshman Noah Gray said, “This is the dumbest thing in the world.”
The badminton team will be run by Track and Field Coach Mike Schaub. With his superb technique of the sport, and his experience playing competitively with his former doubles partner Art Meyer, Coach Schaub hopes to “compete with the best and the brightest out there. I have seen these kids hit the birdie around in P.E, and I think we have a good chance at taking the section.” For Barnesville they will be competing against a few local teams, as it is their first year as well. Schools like Pelican Rapids and Breckinridge will also be implementing Badminton into their list of extracurricular activities. For football, it seems as if the sport is too dangerous for teens in high school. Both Breckenridge and Pelican Rapids will be dropping football as a school activity. They will be joining in a Town and Country league. Former Coach Bryan Strand plans to run the Town and Country team with the help from George Haj.
If a student still wants to throw around the pig skin they can join a Town and Country team. Due to the fact that Barnesville High School no longer needs their equipment, they will be donating it to the city where students can borrow equipment for a Town and Country season. What most people do not know is that Town and Country teams are allowed to play against school teams. This would still allow for rivalry competition and a chance at making the State Tournament.
Barnesville will have two different styles of play available for their students in badminton. There will be Singles and Doubles options for the athletes. Each student athlete will have the opportunity to become captain of the badminton team by winning a playoff against his or her teammates. The athletes will have an opportunity to compete at the State Tournament if they win their section. The only thing different in badminton is there are no classes of rank by school. It is a free for all to see who is the best in the State. With the school year coming to an end, it is important to spend the summer practicing to help give Barnesville the opportunity to become the best at badminton.

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State Semifinalists Hang Cleats to Hit the Birdie