Hosting COSSA inspires next generation
By Darren Lum
The Red Hawks mixed doubles badminton team of Natalya Gimon and Denver Allore held their own, playing well in front of friends, peers and family on Thursday, April 18 at Haliburton Highlands Secondary School.
Despite not advancing to the all-provincials, the pair provided home fans something to cheer for and junior badminton players something to aspire toward.
Coach Jason Morissette provided insight on the pair’s performance in the tournament, which featured competitors from more than 20 high schools.
“They had a very solid season and developed their skills through hard work every week. They went into the tournament as a fourth seed and [in their first match] they played the first seed from North Hastings High School of Bancroft. Our team took NHHS to three games and played really well under pressure,” he wrote in an email. “This was Natalya Gimon’s first year ever playing mixed doubles and she had an amazing learning curve and drive to get better all season. She had a great COSSA tournament and Denver Allore, her partner, brought his four years of mixed doubles experience to provide strategy and focus to their game.”
“Match two in the day they played Crestwood Secondary School and again we did quite well [against] the higher [level of] competition. Crestwood is a very solid team that practices and plays on a year round club basis. For our team to stay right with them in any match shows that Denver and Natalya have a great skill set and athletic drive in the sport,” he wrote.
“Overall the tournament was a great success with over 20 high schools from COSSA attending and displaying super badminton. It was really ideal for our junior badminton players to see where things can go in the future in the sport if they practice well and have a goal to make it to OFSAA some day,” he wrote.
Junior Red Hawks wrap up season
Kawartha championships were hosted by Haliburton on Thursday, April 18.
The juniors won the Kawartha team championship and were led by the boys doubles team of Tyson Clements and Alex Little, who finished first. Grade 9s Ava Smith and Emma Tidey finished second.
Adding to the team total with podium finishes included the mixed doubles team Megan Klose and Tyler Martin, third, and girls doubles team Erin Chumbley and Josie Graham, third.
A week later the Hawks competed at COSSA on April 18. Coach Bob Schmidt wrote in an email “the teams played very well [but there was] just some tough competition.” Smith and Tidey finished third. Clements and Little finished third while Klose and Martin also finished third. Graham and Chumbley finished fifth.