R.D. Parker Collegiate’s 2019 badminton season was one for the history books, since the high school hosted the provincial championship on their home turf for the first time in 13 years.
While 14 senior RDPC athletes competed in this tournament May 3-4, two doubles teams stood above the rest and were easy choices for athlete of the month status.
Coach Eric Gallo-Paskey said the duo of Phillina Thorne and Jenna MacLean earned this title because of their ability to gel as a unit over a short period of time.
“As good as they were coming into the season, they developed substantially as the season went on and became much better players after the month-and-a-half we were playing.”
After going undefeated at the Zone 11 championships in April, Thorne and MacLean went on to snag ninth place at provincials, which was the second-best finish overall for RDPC behind singles competitor Galvin Alcock.
The team of Murphy Krentz and Hunter Rambow underwent a similar trajectory throughout the season, going undefeated in zones before settling for 13th place at provincials.
However, Gallo-Paskey said he was still impressed with the pair’s attitude on and off the court, which elevated them above some of the other RDPC competitors in his eyes.
“They were out to practice all the time. They were putting the effort in. They listened. They developed their skills.”
This isn’t the first time that that the RDPC coaching staff have recognized Krentz for his contribution to the school’s badminton program, since he’s been named May’s athlete of the month for the last two years in a row.
Now that’s he’s on the cusp of graduating, Krentz said he’s made a lot of great memories playing badminton at RDPC, especially when he got the chance to compete on the road.
“For some reason badminton always has the best trips, no matter what,” he said. “Coming from Thompson, people don’t know who you are, and then you show them that you’re actually really good and it surprises a lot of people. I always liked that.”