Woodside High School’s Athletes of the Week: a Trio of Badminton Scholar-Athletes

Three outstanding scholar-athletes have been stalwarts on the Woodside Badminton team this season, juniors Paul Rikhter, Justin Cai, and Stephanie Tam, earning Woodside High School Athlete of the Week honors.  Rikhter and Cai have been a devastating duo in men’s doubles.  Both athletes attribute their success to their competitive nature in practice, pushing each other as individuals and as a doubles team.  Rikhter and Cai talked about this year’s young team, but Cai believes the team has “stepped up” to the challenges faced throughout the year, while Rikhter stated the team “has improved as the year progresses”.  In singles, Stephanie Tam has been nearly unbeatable, with her only loss coming to Crystal Springs.  She hopes to avenge that defeat and progress into the second or third round of the CCS playoffs.  There can be no higher praise than the words of their longtime coach, Nancy Staves, who said all three athletes, are “hard working and extremely dedicated”, and looking toward next season, Coach Staves says, “thank God I have them for another year!”   As with so many of the Woodside athletes, these three are focused on their academics as much as their athletics.  All three athletes have a 4.3 GPA midway through their junior year, although they all profess how much badminton provides that release they need, as Tam said, badminton is just “fun!”  This week the Wildcats will travel to take on Terra Nova and Capuchino in Peninsula Athletic League action.    

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