The562’s season previews for the 2022-23 school year are sponsored by Vertical Raise, the official team fundraising partner of The562.
Long Beach Badminton is underway and everything is back to normal for the teams after finally having a full season.
At Poly, the Jackrabbits swept the singles titles last season, but along with Prongha Talukder and Maryssa Tan Poly had a lot of seniors graduate so the team will lean on some new faces to pave the way to defend their league title.
Coach Steven Meckna says this year will be a little different than the last couple years because he’ll be doing more teaching with a team less experienced.
Juan Vazquez is one of the Jackrabbits’ few returners and he will be looked at to be a leader for this year’s team.
“He’s very good,” Meckna said. “He’s done very well.”
Along with Vazquez, Victor Lim will be someone to look out for, for Poly.
Alanna Leuth will be a leader on the girls side that will look to repeat defend their singles title. One newcomer for the Jackrabbits will be Soki Phay who has been developing quickly after spending time as the team manager last season.
At Lakewood, the Lancers return the reigning doubles champion Karen Tan and Amanda Choy, who are now seniors.
“We’re very young,” Lakewood coach Mike Christensen said. “We lost some of our really good senior boys, so our team is very young.”
Christensen says the team will grow and develop during the season and he’ll be able to see what’s needed to put each athlete in the right spot.
For the boys singles, senior Nato Sarin is expected to lead the Lancers.
“He has an opportunity to be pretty good,” Christensen said.
At Millikan, the Rams are more experienced and coach Jacob Lovato expects the team to be better than last season.
“We’ve noticed progress with many players and hope to continue to see improvement throughout this season and seasons to come,” Lovato said. “Our top goal is to rebuild the team culture and develop and strengthen skills all while having fun.”
For the Rams’ boys, Millikan will lean on some underclassmen to lead the team. Sophomore Ramsey Priebel is expecting to lead the way in singles while Joquin Lopez and Ben Garcia will be the team’s top doubles tandem.
Last season, Cabrillo had a couple athletes place at the Moore League finals and the Jaguars will look to win their first league title since 2019.