By Josh Bootsma
LANSING, Ill. (March 26, 2021) – After last year’s season was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, the TF South girls badminton team has once again won the sectional title and will move on to the state competition next week.
After a solid showing on Thursday night that earned them the sectional championship, TF South will play in the state competition starting Wednesday, March 31. The competition comprises both singles and doubles matches, and will be available to watch online.
A history of badminton success
TF South has had a history of success when it comes to badminton, having won their conference championship tournament every year for the last decade (with the exception of last year’s cancelled season). The team has won a sectional championship in seven of the last 10 seasons, and it has placed top 10 in the state in six of the last 10 years, winning in 2013 and 2014.
This year’s success
Longtime TFS badminton coach Robert Tengstrand said the team went undefeated this year, finishing the season with a perfect 18-0 record. He also said that although this year’s record is excellent, it’s hard to know exactly how well the team will do at the state competition, given that their matches this year were all against south-side schools.
“The stronger teams are up north,” Tengstrand said, “and we usually play them every year. But this year because of the pandemic and to minimize traveling and things like that, we didn’t get a chance to see the teams we’re going to see at state. So that’s why I’m a little bit in the dark as to how good we are, because we’re beating everyone on the south side, which is good, but it’s not the same competition that we’re going to see at state.”
Tengstrand said around 50 teams usually qualify for state, and he hopes TF South will place in at least the top 10.
This year’s season started about a month earlier than usual due to COVID-19, and the state competition will be held at Hinsdale South High School this year rather than at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston because of COVID.
Tengstrand said TF South will play singles matches on Wednesday and doubles matches on Thursday, with a state champion to be crowned late Thursday.