A badminton legacy

Greta Baumgartner

Greta Baumgartner, Staff Writer

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Gillian Underhill, the senior badminton player, has made her way to State once again. However, it was not always her plan to play badminton. “I got interested in badminton by accident. Freshman year I was originally going to play softball but my one friend had dragged me to the badminton meeting instead so I decided to try out for that instead since I didn’t really know what it was. On the second day of tryouts my friend quit to actually go and play softball, and I ended up being good at badminton, so I stuck with it.” 

It’s a good thing Underhill stuck with the sport, too, considering how successful she has been throughout her years at Central. She closed this season with a record of 18-15, which is pretty good considering how hard the competition is. It leads some to wonder if she does anything special to get ready for matches, or if she simply just goes out there and plays. When asked this question Underhill stated, “I don’t really do anything special before games besides warm up a little before some matches. All I do is just head out there and have fun.”

Not only has Underhill had some outstanding seasons during her badminton career, but she has also made a lot of great memories along the way. Underhill confided that one of her favorites was from freshman year. “One of my best memories from badminton is freshman year playing one girl from Addison Trail who thought she was the best badminton player ever, and it was her birthday. . . and I ended up beating her so bad that she cried and the coach had to come and apologize for her rude behavior during the game towards me.”

So while she may have made some enemies on other teams, at least she also had great teammates to have her back. Just like in any other sport, in badminton your teammates become your family. This was just the case for Underhill as well. “I’m going to miss the team the most. Every year my team has been different, but each year we all become a sort of family and I’m going to miss having that to rely on at the end of each year,” Underhill exclaimed. Now to wrap up her season in a sense, Gillian Underhill wanted to leave us all with her thoughts on badminton: “Honestly, I wish badminton got more recognition as a competitive sport. Even I didn’t think of it as a “sport” until I started playing. It’s so fun, and I wish more people could experience it the way I do.”

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