BRACEBRIDGE - The feathers were flying as the Bracebridge-based Knighthawks Badminton Club came up with a few aces during the Ontario Junior B Badminton Championships in Markham April 7 and 8.
Eryn Belanger, Zach Secord, Nathan Dix, Dorothy Duck and Katie Harris (from left) of the Knighthawks Badminton Club sport their gold medals from the Ontario Junior B Badminton Championships held in Markham April 7 and 8. Missing is Chris Cluett.
Head coach Warren Brownlee said teammates Katie Harris and Dorothy Duck faced three very tough teams on their way to claiming gold in the U16 girls doubles rounds. They took on large clubs from Ottawa, Flying Dragon (Richmond Hill) and KC (Markham), defeating the number two and one seeds respectively on the path to gold.
“Their patience, poise and determination were matched by Eryn Belanger and her partner from the Flying Dragon BC (badminton club) who came out firing on all pistons in their first match, taking out the number one seed and then playing tough but more relaxed matches to claim the U19 girls doubles crown,” Brownlee said.
Zach Secord (Midland) and Nathan Dix (Orillia), who were part of the Knighthawks’ recent Ontario Winter Games team and have frequently been attending practices in Bracebridge, captured gold in U19 boys doubles.
“Their matches were always close and hard fought,” Brownlee said. “Their supreme triumph came in the semifinals when they defeated the number one seed, a team from Port Hope who has managed to dominate our players all year, but finally fell in a tremendously exciting three-game match.”
In mixed doubles the only all-Bracebridge team of Katie Harris and Chris Cluett lost their initial match, but then won the rest to take the consolation championship.
Singles play was on Sunday with the local club’s best showing being Belanger with a bronze medal in U19 girls singles. Brownlee said she lost to the eventual champion in the semifinals in a tough three-game match and overcame aching shins and extreme fatigue to capture the medal.
Secord came within two points of winning the U19 boys singles, falling in the quarter-finals to the eventual champion, Brandon Somers.
“All our players played some of their best badminton of the year and the coaches and parents are extremely pleased and proud of their efforts and results,” Brownlee said. “The players need to recuperate as quickly as possible in preparation for our Georgian Bay Junior Championships in Gravenhurst April 14 and 15.”
That tournament will be held at the Gravenhurst High School and Gravenhurst Public School gyms both Saturday and Sunday, from about 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.