First Coed Sports Team Shows Promise

Jocelyn Gaona, Staff Writer

Badminton is a fairly new addition to Mayfield’s athletics program, and it has become increasingly popular in recent years. Some speculate that this could be because it’s the only team where boys also compete. At other high schools in the area, badminton is a coed sport, and although Mayfield is a single sex school, the Cubs have played coed teams due to the division they are placed in.

This year, the badminton Coach Steve Sanchez decided that it would benefit the team if they allowed boys to participate as well. The team contacted Loyola High School in Los Angeles and asked if students would be willing to participate. After receiving a response that confirmed that students would like to participate, the badminton team gained six new players.

“We were previously at a disadvantage not only because we had to play against the boys, but also because many other teams did not want to play us since we were an all girl team. It was hard when we had to play against the boys, when we were not able to in practice,” said Badminton Co-Captain Erika Uriarte ’15.

Uriarte also noted that with the addition of the six boys, Mayfield was able to play several other co-ed schools that had previously refused to compete against a single-sex team.

“We also became stronger because we were able to practice with the boys and they became stronger because they were able to practice playing against us. We were also able to develop many new strategies,” said Uriarte.

Senior Maddie Peña said, “Having boys on the badminton team helped us improve our strategies and benefited us in our league because we now play more teams. It really opened doors for us and will hopefully continue to as badminton becomes more popular and gets bigger. I would encourage more girls to play because it is a really fun sport!”

Since Mayfield has opened up this opportunity to Loyola, many students have pointed out that it does help the team expand its horizons, while other students have said that it makes no overall difference in the abilities of the team or the opportunities that they are given. Only time will prove if the expansion of the team to include male members will actually benefit the team, although the short-term improvements have already become present.