R.D. Parker Collegiate’s badminton program may not get the same shine as high school volleyball or basketball, but two doubles teams still managed to make a big impression this past season.
As such, the title for RDPC’s top athletes of April 2018 will be shared between David King, Murphy Krentz, Kerri Allard and Ashley Williams.
According to coach Eric Gallo-Paskey, the pair of King and Krentz made for an easy choice. Not only did this duo clinch the same title back in May of last year, but Gallo-Paskey also revealed that they’ve drastically stepped up their game since then.
“Even in practice, there was nobody who was really giving them a run for their money,” he said. “So in order for them to improve we had to get community players to come in who’ve been playing badminton for numerous years.”
This training regimen paid off in the end, since King and Krentz would go on to capture first at the Zone 11 championships in late April, which is a step up over their second place finish in 2017.
Krentz also admitted that their success as a team is due to the fact that they finally started taking the sport seriously, especially after cracking the top 10 in the 2017 provincial tournament.
“Last year we were kind of in it for the fun, but once we got in 10th then we realized that we’re actually pretty good at this.”
At provincials this year, which took place May 3−5 in Brandon, the pair would do more than simply place in the top 10, and ended up clinching fourth after a losing a hard-fought match to a team from Stonewall in the consolation finals.
Gallo-Paskey said this result is even more impressive when one considers the fact that the majority of their opponents play badminton all year long, whereas RDPC’s program only runs for two months.
Unlike the boys’ doubles team, Allard and Williams represent a new pairing and didn’t have years to properly gel as a unit.
Even though there were some speed bumps along the road, Gallo-Paskey said the team finally managed to click just in time for zones and provincials, where they placed second and 10th, respectively, in the girls’ doubles category.
“They’re both very competitive and very athletic, so that one worked out well.”
Since King and Allard will be graduating this year, it looks like Krentz and Williams run the risk of being left without partners heading into the upcoming badminton season.
Thankfully, Krentz and Allard have decided to try their luck at the mixed doubles competition together, having already teamed up in The Pas.
“I know they’ll have high expectations for each other,” said Gallo-Paskey. “They’re good friends to begin with and that’ll be their last year [at RDPC], so I’m sure they want to do well.”