Badminton coach optimistic about Mohawk’s future

Call it double your pleasure for the Mohawk badminton team at the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association West Regional Championships at Seneca College, Feb. 5-6.

The Mountaineers qualified two doubles teams for the OCAA championships in Windsor on Feb. 19-20. Ashley Payne and Kathleen Manson placed second in ladies doubles, while the tandem of Chris Hong and Mohammed Nazimuddin finished third, earning their berth in men’s doubles.

Mohawk coach Tony Leite was very excited about his teams advancing.

“Although placing second and third respectively, I feel they have a great potential for a much better result at the provincials,” said Leite. “While Ashley and Kathleen are experienced players in their own right, they have not had much time together, which gives me the feeling that they can only get better. “Mohammed and Chris have played together before, but not that much. I look forward to their improvement as a stronger team.”

Krystal Lumaoang, Mohawk’s number one ranked women’s singles player, had some hard luck despite impressing her coach with what he felt was her best and most consistent play he’d seen from her to date. Three players finished tied for first in Lumaoang’s pool, which denied her a spot in the next round.

The Mountaineers had a well balanced squad when it came to experience. Five returning players and five new members contributed to what Leite considered a very successful regional championship.