PHOENIX - The spotlight turn to badminton as the Varsity Zone caught up with the girls at one Valley high school to see exactly what it takes to serve it up.
Wendy Ramos is getting her girls badminton team at Washington High School prepped for their afternoon match. This is her first season as head coach.
“Everybody goes badminton; I didn't even know it was a sport,” Ramos said. “It’s not like what you play at a picnic; it’s a whole different game. It’s one of the fastest games on earth.The birdie crosses the net about one second, so it's tons of speed, tons of footwork and a lot of strategy.”
It’s the strategy that Ramos really likes to work on in practice.
“We run a lot more than they used to and the girls are ok with it,” Ramos said. “They actually like it and they feel like they had a great workout after practice.”
“It was pretty easy after the second day, but it was hard to get out of bed,” senior Rabecka Harper said.
Harper is playing badminton for the first time. She's not only picking up a brand new sport since being sidelined with hip and knee injuries over the years, she's building self-esteem.
“I'm actually really excited that I came out of my shell this year,” Harper said.
But for more seasoned players like senior Maria Alexandre, it’s about giving it her all as she winds down her badminton career. She currently holds the number one spot on the team.
“I like this sport because it's just you and you really can't blame it on anyone if you lose,” Alexandre said.
And for those who continue to say badminton isn't a sport, Alexandre says bring it on.
“I've actually proven some people wrong,” she continued. “We have open court and
they come and play and they always end up leaving and saying this is harder than it seems.”