Struggles ahead for badminton

March 5, 2009 — by Karen Lyu

Today’s Saratoga badminton team looks nothing like the group that became league champions in 2005. The Falcons have struggled for the last three years to regain their previous dominance, probably because the school has had a new coach each season since its title run. To make matters worse, the number of trained players involved in the program is now at an all-time low, as several strong athletes graduated in 2008.

John Phung, a UC Berkeley alum and the former head coach at Prospect, is the team’s leader for this season and is determined to “help the team get back to the championship caliber team” it used to be.

“This year will be a rebuilding year for us, so I’d like to create an exciting and motivating environment,” said Phung. “I feel great about the future of the team.”

Two of Phung’s friends, Ken Nguyen and Vu Pham, have also joined on as assistant coaches.

So far, it seems the staff has done a good job, guiding the Falcons to a 12-3 preseason victory against Prospect on March 3 and setting high expectations for the remainder of the year.

“The coaching staff was really impressed with the athletes’ performance,” said Phung. “I expect great things from us this season and in seasons to come.”

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