Spring Senior Standouts: Betshany Flores Moran & Lena Lee (Web Extra)

News

A short time after it began, the coronavirus pandemic forced the CIF to cancel the rest of the 2020 spring sports season, which meant an abrupt ending to the high school careers of spring sports seniors around the Central Valley. As a way of saluting some of these outstanding seniors, the Sports Central team is presenting a series of stories called “Senior Standouts.” They will air in sports at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. each Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday through the end of June, and others, like the story below, will appear here on our website.

We sent Betshany Flores Moran and Lena Lee some questions related to their experiences competing in badminton at Roosevelt High Schooland below is a transcript, with some slight editing on our part, of the answers they provided us.

Betshany Flores Moran: Roosevelt Badminton

Betshany Flores Moran was a three-sport star at Roosevelt and a valedictorian. Photo courtesy Betshany Flores Moran

Future College:
I’m undecided on which college I will attend. I am deciding between Fresno State and UC Davis. I’m planing to play Badminton or Tennis, but I am still considering it. 

High School GPA
4.18 (Graduating as a valedictorian)

How many sports did you play in high school?
I played three sports during high school: Tennis, Soccer, and Badminton. I started playing varsity tennis and varsity soccer during my junior year, and varsity badminton during my sophomore year.

Notable Achievements/Awards from your high school athletic career:
While playing tennis, my first year I was singles number six, and my coach moved me up to singles number four that same year. My second and last year playing tennis I was moved up to singles number two. My second year playing tennis I was awarded “Athlete of the Month,” and I also received the “Rookie of the Year” plaque. While playing JV soccer, I was awarded a “Rookie” trophy my freshman year, and awarded the “Outstanding Defensive Player” plaque. My junior year, I was moved up to varsity, and was awarded with the “Most Improved Player” plaque. My senior year, my team and I won the North Yosemite League. Because of all the sports I’ve played during high school and my good grades, I was elected as “Senior Girl Athlete of Roosevelt” and a “Junior League of Fresno Dorothy ‘Dotties’ Rohlfing Memorial Scholarship” recipient.

Community/school organizations involved in?
When I was in high school, I was part of the Steve’s Scholar Club. During the summer of 2019, I helped with youth soccer (3-6 years old) for the City of Fresno’s Parks and Recreation department. I helped with coaching, officiating, paperwork, and organizing drills. I also did six hours of community services in WoodWard Park in 2020.

Describe the emotions when you found out the rest of your badminton season was cancelled?
I was honestly upset and sad when I found out that I was not going to be able to play my last sport of my senior year. But I understood that there was nothing we could do, and that it was better not to risk our lives and the lives of people around us. Covid-19 is a serious virus that is taking, and has taken the lives of so many people, and that’s more important than me not being able to play my last badminton season. I played badminton since my sophomore year, and I wish I knew about it during my freshman year. If I knew about badminton, I would have played since my freshman year. 

How did you get into badminton and what did you like most about the sport?
The reason why I got into badminton was because my friend said that she was going to try it out. I honestly had no idea what badminton was about, but I went to the practice with her to give it a try. During my first practice on badminton, I did so bad. But something inside of me wanted to keep going, to challenge myself to do something out of my comfort zone. What I liked most about badminton was that I got to meet knew people. 

What made competing in badminton at Roosevelt such a special experience?
What made competing in badminton so special is the fact that I learned how to trust my partner, and realized that they had my back during the games.

What was your most memorable badminton moment while competing at Roosevelt?
My most memorable moment was in a match. I was playing and fell, and my knee started bleeding, yet I still hit the l birdie while on the floor, and managed to get the point. 

Did you experience any adversity in badminton, and how did you overcome it?
Every year I played badminton I had a new partner, since the partners that I had were all seniors. To overcome this, I put in the best effort I could to adjust, so we both felt comfortable with each other. Also, every badminton season I would experience pain in one of my knees suddenly for no reason. I overcame this adversity by putting on a knee brace, and by going to the trainer to get help with my pain.

Most important people who helped in your badminton development? 
The people that really helped me were my coaches . They taught me the sport, and without them, I don’t think I would have improved the way I did.

What has life been like for you during the pandemic?
My life has been calm during quarantine. I have been working out to keep myself busy. I have been also trying to decide where I want to go for college.

Lena Lee: Roosevelt Badminton

Lena Lee played varsity badminton for four years at Roosevelt and was a B’nai Brith nominee.
Photo courtesy of Lena Lee

Future College:
Fresno State (academics only, will play sports as a hobby)

High School GPA:
3.67

What are your most notable achievements in badminton?
I’ve played badminton for four years, and the position that I played during my freshman year was varsity double 3. The following year, I decided that I wanted to challenge myself and play singles. I then, was singles number 3 my sophomore year. Junior year, I was number 2 singles. And senior year, I was the number 1 singles player. During my junior year, I placed 4th in the tournament against our division. I was the “Most Improved” my freshman year. I also got a Rough Rider plaque, for being the “Most Outstanding” my junior year. My senior year, I was nominated as a B’nai Brith recipient and also was a team captain.

Community/school organizations involved in?
I was involved in community service at “Fresno Greek Fest” for 2 years. I was also part of the “Trunk or Treat” Halloween organization and “Community Spring Fest Easter Egg.”

Describe the emotions when you found out the rest of your track season was cancelled?
The emotions were clueless and sadness. I was really heartbroken when I found out that the rest of my spring sports season was cancelled. I was looking forward to competing in the Valley Championship, and I wanted to stay undefeated through my division games. Overall, I was really unhappy. 

How did you get into badminton and what did you like most about the sport?
I got into my spring sport because of my older sister. She played badminton in high school back in 2014. I got inspired by her, and I motivated myself to play badminton when I got to high school. What I like most about the sport is that, in general, it is a really fun sport to play, and I like how the shuttlecock comes really fast to you. You have to have fast reflexes to get it back fast. 

What made competing in badminton at Roosevelt such a special experience?
Because I got to give it my best, and it helped me thrive to achieve better goals by winning. 

What was your most memorable moment while competing in badminton at Roosevelt?
During a junior year tournament, I played against one of my teammates. We really didn’t want to hurt each other’s emotions, but we had to pull through to see who would win. Eventually, I pulled out the win, and we both got really sad and happy at the same time. 

Did you experience any adversity in badminton, and how did you overcome it?
If I experienced adversity, I’d overcome it by telling myself that, even though I lost, it is not the end. I must stay positive to maintain the energy of winning. I had some negativity about not being a great player and not being good enough, but I knew I could improve. There was one time that I didn’t really feel confident about winning, but eventually I ended up winning against the opponent. 

Most important people who helped in your badminton development?
My badminton coaches and friends. They provided me with such great advice and helped me improve throughout my school years, and helped me get to where I am right now. 

What has life been like for you during the pandemic?
My life has been pretty okay during the pandemic. I’ve learned that I have interest in a lot of things. What I wanted to do but I couldn’t, was go to gyms and play sports with families and friends.

What Roosevelt badminton coach Cecilia Brumana says about Lena and Betshany?
Both Lena and Betshany are fantastic people. It was such a pleasure to be their teacher and coach.

Lena is a 4-year varsity starter. She is an excellent student. And an excellent badminton player. In her 4 years, she had grown so much as a player. I just knew that this year was her year. She could have gone so far. She was extremely coachable. Always listening, learning and trying to get better. A hard worker. First in the gym and last to leave. She is a lead by example type of leader. Very positive and always willing to help the newer kids get better. Every team we played, every coach would always mention what a great kid she is. Great sportsmanship. She is that athlete that you wish you had 100 of. Just did everything that you asked without complaint.

Betshany is a 3-year varsity starter. She is an excellent student. She had to work at badminton to get to where she was. She did not have the background in the game, but would work so hard to get better. Always asking questions, trying to figure out how she could improve. A fierce competitor. She is also very coachable. She was also willing to help the new players. She always had a smile on her face and was just ready to play. Just a great positive outlook.

The best thing about coaching badminton is that I have the best kids on campus. These two are great examples of that. Every teacher, coach and staff member  on campus would always tell me I had the best group of kids. All of them are just awesome kids. Most come in not knowing the game and work so hard to get better. We have so much fun learning and growing together. Every year, the teams become a little family, where everyone is there for the other and are just so supportive. I am truly blessed to be able to work with these kids.

I know both Lena and Betshany will be successful in anything they decide to do. You couldn’t have picked two more deserving kids to do a story on.

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