Even for a program with as storied a past as George Brown badminton, the Huskies 2017-18 season was one for the record books.
For the first time in its history, the Huskies took home both the men's and women's team titles at the Provincial Championship. They followed that up with a best-ever performance at Nationals, earning an incredible four medals, one in each discipline George Brown had a team entered. The Huskies became only the second program in the OCAA's history to sweep both the men's and women's team titles at the OCAA Championship, and they went into the Nationals as the top-ranked team in the country. The four National medals, five Provincial medals including two golds and pair of team titles equal by far the greatest season not only in George Brown badminton history, but in 50 years of George Brown Athletics.
"This team was exciting to watch from start to finish this season. With an excellent balance of young as well as more seasoned players, coach Schram was able to build around those different on and off-court strengths to put together the perfect combination of pairings," said Manager of Athletics Melanie Gerin-Lajoie. "Everyone seemed to peak at the right time, which is a testament to the coaching staff's ability to build out a season plan that really put their athletes in a position to succeed when it mattered most. And they did not disappoint."
George Brown's greatest asset was the depth of their talent, which comes in particularly crucial when looking to send as many teams as possible to Nationals. The Huskies deep roster allowed them to field competitive teams in all five disciplines at the Provincial Championship, and even the men's doubles pairing of Alex Chao and Yang Jin missed out on qualifying by the narrowest of margins.
"I was crying tears of joy, it is such a huge accomplishment," said assistant coach Howard Wong, who has been with the program for the past seven years. "It's a combination of talent, scouting, gambling, so many moving parts for our team. For us to have been ranked number one was beyond our wildest dreams."
"Our team support for each other during Provincials was a real difference maker in order to win those team banners," said head coach Will Schram, who was also named the OCAA's Coach of the Year. "The CCAA results came from self-motivation, hard work and determination. I thank our coaching staff for trusting me and working so hard all season to develop our team."
For Yunji Kim the historic season is particularly sweet as the fifth-year Husky wraps up what has been an incredible career at the college.
"This is the best year since I've been here, it's going to mean so much to see those team banners go up," said the OCAA All-Star and addition to a long line of great George Brown badminton players. "Everyone on our team contributed to our success, and everyone put their ego aside and just did what was best for our entire group."
"This has been a record-breaking year for Huskies badminton, with our men's and women's teams celebrating the most successful season in George Brown College's 50-year history," said George Brown President Anne Sado. "Congratulations to all of our players and coaches for representing us so well at nationals, and for demonstrating the incredible heights our college community can achieve by working together."
See below for a listing of individual athletes accomplishments at the National Championship, Provincial Championship and Awards Banquets:
Ace Zeng: OCAA Male Badminton Player of the Year, CCAA All-Canadian, CCAA National Men's Singles Silver Medallist, OCAA Provincial Men's Singles Gold Medallist, OCAA All-Star
Anh Hoang: CCAA National Women's Singles Silver Medallist, OCAA Provincial Women's Singles Gold Medallist, OCAA All-Star
Angeline Alviar: CCAA National Women's Doubles Bronze Medallist, OCAA Provincial Women's Doubles Silver Medallist, OCAA All-Star
Yunji Kim: CCAA National Women's Doubles Bronze Medallist, OCAA Provincial Women's Doubles Silver Medallist, OCAA All-Star
Mike Ra: CCAA National Mixed Doubles Bronze Medallist, OCAA Provincial Mixed Doubles Silver Medallist, OCAA All-Star
Amy Ding: CCAA National Mixed Doubles Bronze Medallist, OCAA Provincial Mixed Doubles Silver Medallist, OCAA All-Star
Alex Chao: OCAA Provincial Men's Doubles Bronze Medallist
Yang Jin: OCAA Provincial Men's Doubles Bronze Medallist