Despite competing against a number of badminton powerhouses throughout a difficult season, Los Altos’ badminton team was able to send one player to CCS at Monta Vista High School from Tuesday, May 21 to Thursday, May 23: sophomore Louis Hinnant.
A nationally ranked player, Louis plowed his way through four of the other 14 players contending for the CCS title. Louis advanced all the way until the top three, where he faced off against Derek Chao, a senior from Saratoga High School.
In his final match, Louis focused on playing at a slow pace and capitalizing on his technique and skill. His style contrasted greatly with Derek’s, a more offensive, powerful and quick type of play. Eventually, Louis’ more offensive style of play gave him a narrow win over Louis. Derek won the first set in 15-12 and the third set in 15-13, while Louis defeated Derek in the second set 15-6.
Louis’ third place performance is a welcome improvement from last year. He and sophomore Albert Li played in CCS as a freshman doubles team, where tough competition and more experienced seniors pushed them out of contention for the top 8 spots.
“Last year there were a lot of good seniors playing doubles and we were only freshmen , so we didn’t have much of a chance,” Louis said. “This year, I was more motivated to do well at CCS. I was also singles this year, so things were different.”
Louis cites his preparation for CCS as key to his success and is looking ahead to improving on his third place finish next year.
“I worked on my stamina throughout the season,” Louis said. “Hopefully, I can take first next year. I’ll work on being stronger at closing out matches without choking.”