Stars stand atop the badminton podium

By Jamie Harkins

May 3, 2018 11:34 AM

The Father Gorman Community School Grizzlies boys doubles team of Jaxson Schlosser, left, and Godwin Javier compete in the Grade 7 badminton championships at Kitscoty Junior Senior High School on Saturday. JAMIE HARKINS LLS PHOTO

New pairings, old friends and renewed rivalries took centre stage at this past weekend’s wide-open Grade 7 badminton championships.
Sixteen athletes representing eight different schools from across Lloydminster and area captured gold and silver medals during the badminton finals at Kitscoty Junior Senior High School on Saturday.
The Border City’s St. Joseph Elementary School Stars and Vermilion’s St. Jerome’s Catholic School Spartans led the pack with three medals apiece.
The Stars can lay claim to the overall title thanks to the girls doubles team of Ileanna Kokomas and Rose Rusteika who bested the Kitscoty Cavaliers duo of Jhonn Mercado and Laney Younghans for the gold medal. The result wasn’t bad for the Stars considering Saturday marked the first time Kokomas and Rusteika partnered together.
“We just stayed calm and worked as a team,” said Rusteika. “We’re both really strong badminton players, so I think that worked.”
The mixed doubles team of Keira Feist and Ben Warren picked up a silver medal for the Stars, while the Marwayne Jubilee School Wildcats squad of Rayna Franklin and Aiden Fox won gold.
In girls singles action, College Park School Cobras athlete Emma Gray beat Bishop Lloyd Middle School Lancer Kiera Caldwell for the top prize.
“I think my smashes were pretty good,” said Gray, noting the victory marked her first time atop the podium this season. “I just practise a lot and I just kept a positive attitude.”
E.S. Laird Middle School Sabre Cameron Arden overcame a strong challenge from Spartan Dallyn Minish to capture gold in the boys singles event.
The Spartans duo of Denver Minish and Colt Jackson put up a strong fight in the boys doubles championship only to fall to the newly created Father Gorman Community School Grizzlies team of Godwin Javier and Jaxson Schlosser.
Javier said their win was the result of cooperation, teamwork and shot calling. Schlosser noted chemistry played a part as well considering they’ve been friends since Grade 4.
“We didn’t lose a game,” said Schlosser. “This means a lot because it’s the first tournament I’ve ever been to.”

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