George McDougall badminton player heading back to provincials
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Thursday, Apr 17, 2014 11:53 am
Even though he previously competed in the Alberta High School Badminton Provincial Championships, George McDougall High School Grade 12 student Shannon Cameron believes this year’s tournament in Lethbridge on May 2 and 3 will be a different experience.
“I took a year off last year because of other arrangements with trips that kept me out of tournaments, so I pretty much stopped training for awhile as everyone else in the province kept on training,” Cameron said.
“For me, the last couple of months have been all about getting back into the groove, which paid off at the zones,” he added. “The competition at the provincials are going to be stiff, but I’m looking forward to getting ready for it.”
Cameron earned his spot at the provincials by winning his second zone championship in the last three years on April 12 in Olds, as he finished in first place in the senior boys’ division at the South Central Zone championships.
“It was a little bit more challenging for me this time around, especially when I compare it to when I won the intermediate boys title when I was in Grade 10,” Cameron said. “There were a lot of tough competitors that were there, and I was able to deal with the pressure by just keeping my head in the game.”
“He just stuck to his gameplan right from the start,” Mustangs badminton Coach Adam Yurkowski said. “He wore his opponents down and whenever he got into trouble, he just fought his way back.”
After winning the ‘B’ side championship and earning a third-place finish at the 2012 provincials in Grimshaw, Cameron is hoping to do even better than that in his second trip to the event.
“I plan to stay in the ‘A’ side of the bracket and fight it out for a provincial title,” Cameron said.
“I’m going to be training as hard as I can here in the next couple of weeks, especially on the mental side of the game, as I want to be in the right place when I head down to Lethbridge.”
The one issue that Cameron will face is the amount of time he will able to play in the George McDougall gym in the lead-up to the provincials, as no one will be using it at the school for any sports for over a week.
“We have our Ride of the Mustangs fundraiser taking place here this week, and then next week is Spring Break, so no one will be in the school during that time anyways,” Yurkowski said.
“That isn’t the best thing to deal with, but we are working through it in a number of ways,” he added.
“Shannon is going to train over at the ClearOne Badminton Centre in Calgary next week, and once we come back to school we will be having him play with our other Mustang players in order to get him in shape.”