EHHS badminton team says competitive game develops skills, camaraderie

By Frances Taylor - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Fri., Sep. 23, 2011
Ashley Clancy is a captain of the EHHS girls' varsity badminton team. This is her first year on the team. Photos by Frances Taylor.
Ashley Clancy is a captain of the EHHS girls' varsity badminton team. This is her first year on the team. Photos by Frances Taylor.

For most people, badminton is a leisurely game played in the back yard. But for the East Hartford High School Hornets badminton team, it’s an intense game of skill. “It’s a competitive game – the idea is to smash it,” said coach Dave Brower, referring to the shuttlecock that whips across the net during a game.

Ashley Clancy, first captain of the girls’ team, is in her first year on the team, having played her first match a week ago. The team lost, “but I learned a lot,” she said. Clancy said she joined the team because, “I also play tennis, and I really like that, so I thought I would give badminton a try. I love it, it’s so much fun, and I've made a lot of new friends.”

Other team captains include Rachel Forte, Stakes Lucero and Alstin Postrano.

East Hartford is one of only a handful of schools that still have a badminton program. The Hornets play against Simsbury, Hamden and Miss Porter’s School. Only Simsbury has a co-ed team like East Hartford High School.

Brower said that badminton is not a Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference sport, but has its own governing organization. “We don't even have refs,” Brower said. During the game, the players make the calls, and if there is a dispute, the coaches decide. “And that hardly ever happens – even though the game is intense, the players shake hands afterward,” Brower said.

Brower is in his second year of coaching the team, which he took over when the former coach retired. “I grew up playing the game, and I played during college,” Brower said. “I think it’s a great thing that East Hartford has kept the program, and we're trying to get even more people to try it.”

Alstin Postrano, a captain on the boys’ team, is in his fourth year on the team. Postrano said he had friends who got him into the game his freshman year. He also plays volleyball. “It's a very fast game, and it is very intense,” Postrano said. “It's very competitive. People think it's a game for girls, but it isn't. We need to get more guys into it.”

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