AT THE NET Esteban Guzman, who frequently plays as Healdsburg’s No. 1 badminton male, warms up for the March 26 match at Smith Robinson Gym.
By Caleb Knudsen

That the sport of badminton is again being played in high school gyms around the area is due in large measure to the efforts of Scott Bischof. A former competitor and founder of the World Badminton Museum, he introduced the sport at several schools including Piner, Elsie Allen, Roseland University Prep and now at Healdsburg.

Meets include 15 individual matches: four each boys and girls singles, two each doubles and then three mixed doubles. Each match is scored similarly to volleyball, the best of three games to score 21 points by a margin of 2.

Home matches are played in the Smith Robinson Gym, with six courts set up across the hardwood floors running simultaneous games, usually starting at 4:30pm.

Six matches are played simultaneously during badminton meets at Smith Robinson Gym.

After losing their first match of the year on March 5 against Windsor by a 10-5 cumulative score, the Healdsburg badminton team has turned on the juice and won three in a row.

March 7 saw a 13-1 shellacking of Roseland College Prep, and a week later the Greyhounds put a leash on Roseland University Prep, 11-4.

In between they evened the score with Windsor, winning a close 8-7 meet at home.

March 26 found them once again at home against Elsie Allen, another of the schools Bischof introduced to the sport. In an upset, Elsie Allen won the match, 9-6.

Led by No. 1 boys singles player Esteban Guzman and girls No. 1 Kathleen Casero, boys doubles Alex Francis/Edgar Navarro and girls doubles Estrella Santiago/Alexa Cervantes, among many other competitive players, Healdsburg is now 4-1 as a team.

They hope to keep winning for the rest of the season, which ends on April 25, followed by post-season play to be announced.

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Christian Kallen has called Healdsburg home for over 30 years. A former travel writer and web producer, he has worked with Microsoft, Yahoo, MSNBC and other media companies, usually in an editorial capacity. He started reporting locally in 2008, moving from Patch to the Sonoma Index-Tribune to the Kenwood Press before joining the Healdsburg Tribune in 2022.


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