OFSAA silver for Red Hawks singles’ player
By Darren Lum
May 10, 2016
Caleb Schmidt is shining with silver pride after capturing a second in badminton at the all-provincials this past weekend.
With a 3-3 record, Caleb had a solid performance at the 2016 Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations Badminton Championship from May 5 to 7 in North Bay.
Coach Bob Schmidt (also his dad) said he overcame a slow start, losing his first two matches on the opening day, but rebounded and won his next three, including the semi-finals of the C flight.
The Grade 12 student athlete comfortably won the best-of-three match 2-0 (21-16 and 21-17) to secure a silver medal and earn a trip to the finals where he played well, but was edged out by Jeremy St-Pierre in the gold medal match in both games 18-21 and 19-21.
Caleb was satisfied with his effort and the result, owed to his family.
“I just wanted to play my best and did, but still ended up in the C flight and winning a medal. I would especially like to thank my father and [brother] Darcy for helping me become a better player and my other two brothers for pushing me to play my best,” he wrote in an email.
Caleb improved on last year’s result when he won bronze in the C flight boys’ doubles with Curtis Ballantyne in last year’s all-provincials.
After last year’s tournament he told the Echo about his plans to play singles and work with his brother Darcy, who finished eighth in the A flight of OFSAA a few years ago. It was a goal to come back to the all-provincials and he followed through on it.
Although he wanted to do better, there was some consolation for him when he saw that the COSSA champion, Samson Chan won the antique bronze (fourth place) in the A flight.
“It made me feel a little better knowing the guy I lost to did that well at OFSAA,” he wrote.
Bob appreciated the effort from his son during the tournament.
“Caleb gave 110 per cent in this tournament. After Thursday’s and Friday’s games he was worn! But he kept going and even during the matches he was digging deep,” he wrote in an email.
According to Bob, Caleb lost two matches on the opening day of the tournament with the second match being very close. The losses placed him in the C flight. The next day he won his first two matches, which both went the distance of three games, all close scores. He had to come from behind (down a game and down in game three) in both matches to win, which set up his silver medal winning performance on Friday and a place in the gold medal game on Saturday.
The badminton team also sent the doubles team of Ben Schmidt, Caleb’s younger brother, and veteran playing partner Jaydon Wood, who finished a respectable seventh in the B flight at the championship.
Bob said the team played two matches on Thursday and then won their first match in three games, closing out the final game with a 21- 18 win. Then they lost their second match and were placed in the B flight matches on Friday. That’s when they lost their first match of the day in three games, won their second match in three games, which included a “nail biter” in their third game, employing a come from behind victory, as they were down 20-17 down to win 24–22. They then won their third match and then lost their fourth in three games.
This doubles team entered as the top seed from COSSA, as they finished first with an undefeated record.
Making it to OFSAA is not to be undervalued and the Red Hawks are a perennial power in that regard.
The badminton team has sent representatives to the all-provincials for five of the last six years.