Taylor Chase capped a memorable high school badminton season with a worthy performance at the provincials last weekend in Calgary.
The Grade 11 student from William E. Hay Composite High School was in his element Friday and Saturday, and though he didn’t come home with a medal, Chase wasn’t an easy opponent in intermediate boys’ singles play.
“I think it went well,” said Chase, the lone Stettler representative in the provincial tournament at Bishop O’Byrne High School.
“It’s pretty much the same sort of guys that you see in the club tournaments, and I think I showed pretty well.”
After losing his qualifying match Friday against Mukt Patel (21-14, 21-13), Chase dropped to the B section, in which he placed third in round-robin play with a 1-2 record.
Chase defeated Canmore’s Graeme Shea 21-14, 24-22, but lost a couple of tight matches Friday night and Saturday morning to Nico Labbe (22-20, 22-20) and Shublam Patel (21-18, 21-17), respectively.
“Taylor’s final two opponents went on to win the gold and silver medals in the intermediate Category 2 boys’ singles, which is a testimony to the strength of Taylor’s pool,” said Stettler coach Chris Langford.
“Ben Schmidt of Tofield, who Taylor had convincingly defeated in zones, won the bronze medal.
“I think Taylor has a fairly good idea of the areas he needs to work at to improve his performance. Attending a summer camp would help his game immensely.”
Chase, 16, said he already has plans to attend an August development camp along with clubmate John Langford, son of Chris.
“This was really the first season I started putting more time into badminton, and it paid off,” Chase said.
Soon after he was eliminated from playoff contention Saturday, Chase headed to Camrose, where he joined his Stettler under-18 soccer teammates for a season-opening tournament.
The school badminton season wraps up this weekend for students in Grade 9 and under, as Red Deer hosts the CWAJHAA championships.