Please join me in donating today to one of these wonderful organizations or a charity of your choice:
Thank you to my students at the Shannon Pohl Badminton Academy with your help with this video!
See the full USA Badminton Jr. National Rankings here and click on “Latest Rankings”.
93. Anthony Luo
The Under 19 Junior National US Team won all of it’s team matches to take the Team Gold Medal. They beat Brazil in the final 3-1. This was the first Gold Medal in the Team event since 2010, which was also the last time Shannon had the pleasure of being part of the coaching staff.
Individual events were held in girls singles, girls doubles, boys singles, boys doubles, and mixed doubles in all age groups from Under 11 up through Under 19. In the individual events the total medals won by the United States players included 22 Gold, 19 Silver and 26 Bronze in the 25 events. Congratulations to all the players, coaches, managers, parents, and clubs on this incredible performance!
Not only did American players have fun on the court, but players and their families also had got to learn about Guatemalan culture, trying the local Guatemalan cuisine, touring nearby Antigua, visiting local artisan markets, and watching the dancers, musicians and soldiers in the Opening Ceremony.
Many of you are probably wondering how to qualify for this impressive team! Here’s how . . . Earlier this year, the top ranked players in the country in all age groups competed in the Junior International Trials (JIT) in California for an opportunity to qualify for the US junior team. At the JIT, players are competing to be one of the four singles spots, four mixed spots, and two doubles spots per event to qualify for the Jr. Pan American Championships. JIT and the Jr. Pan American Championships are events that are held annually. Only players with very high Junior National Rankings are qualified to try-out in the JIT. There were no players from the Midwest Region who qualified for the Pan Am Junior Championships this year, but with more Midwesterners entering the Junior National Rankings, we hope to see SPBA players at Jr. Nationals, JIT and the Pan Am Junior Championships in the future!
See tons of photos from this exciting event here!
Both adults and juniors of all levels participated and events were held in A-B-C-D dropflight format in women’s singles, women’s doubles, men’s singles, men’s doubles, and mixed doubles. Awards were given to finalists of all flights, and a special North Shore Open towel was given to all participants!
Check out results and see the photos here!
12 State Qualifiers:
Emma Menich, Gerri Soren, Jessica Hirsh, Jessica Schwartz, Jiayi Huang, Julia Siebert, Kiley Walsh, Madison Fortman, Mady Berns, Nicki Flynn, Olenka Kalinowski, Rachel Andersen
6 Sectional Champions:
Gerri Soren, Jessica Hirsh, Jessica Schwartz, Kiley Walsh, Olenka Kalinowski, Rachel Andersen
6 State Medals for 4 Players:
Jessica Hirsh: 3rd in State Doubles
Madison Fortman & Mady Berns: 4th in State Doubles, State Team Runner-Up
Jessica Schwartz: State Team Runner-Up
Congratulations to My Advanced State Championship Target Class:
Jessica Hirsh- Conference Runner-Up (singles), Sectional Champion (doubles), 3rd in State (doubles). All your success is a result of all your dedication and hard work. Next year, let’s win it all!
Gerri Soren- #1 Singles Conference Champion, Sectional Champion (singles), Top 12 in state (singles). Sky is the limit next year!
Brinda Dollu- Conference Champion (doubles). You worked so hard this year and made incredible improvements to your game and your rise up the line-up at Fremd proved it. Next year: State Bound!
Jessica Schwartz- Conference Runner-Up (singles & doubles), State Qualifier (singles), Top 16 in state (singles), State Team Runner-Up. And we still have another year to go! Next year: Podium!
Madison Fortman- Sectional Runner-Up (doubles), 4th in State (doubles), State Team Runner-up. Last year we said, next year: Podium and boy were we right! Congratulations on a great season and best of luck in college!
Mady Berns- Sectional Runner-Up (doubles), 4th in State (doubles), State Team Runner-up. You did it! On the podium twice! Very well deserved and best of luck in college!
Kiley Walsh- 27-0 record at #1 doubles, Conference Runner-up (singles), Sectional Champion singles, Top 12 in State. After Noreen’s injury and having to switch to singles last minute, you still took state top seeded Gomez to 20 all. What a wonderful career. Good luck in college and with your golf!
Noreen Caporusso- 27-0 record at #1 doubles your senior year after recovering from your ACL injury last year. You should be very proud of yourself and your tremendous high school career. You bounced back before and you will again. You are one of the most determined and talented players I’ve ever coached and I know you have a very bright future in golf in college!
All that running training was worth it! Next year, we’re not stopping until State! I’m so proud of ALL of you!
Congrats to my
private lesson students:
Olenka Kalinowski & Rachel Anderson- Sectional Champions, Top 24 in state (doubles). You guys are so dedicated and you will undoubtably do well in your future! Congratulations on a great senior year and all the best to you next year in college!
Marion Lewis- Despite injury set-backs, you were able to put it all out there on the line, play well and give it your very best shot your senior year. It’s been a pleasure to coach you and all the best of luck at Princeton!
Well Done Golder College Prep: It’s been a joy to coach Chicago’s only badminton team for the second year in a row. We are making big improvements in our level and I know next year we will be even stronger! Congratulations and keep up the hard work!
To My 8 Deerfield Senior Varsity Players: Allison Sutton, Allison Manella, Allison Behling, Nicki Flynn, Julia Zazove, Abby Rosenbaum, Samantha Merkin, & Lauren Spungen-
It’s been such a pleasure coaching you all these past 4-5 years. Your enthusiasm, dedication, and work ethic inspired your entire team and lead you to many successes and titles at the conference, sectional, and state level these past 4 years.
Not only that, but the SPBA wouldn’t be where it is today without you and all the positive word of mouth you spread to your friends, teammates, relatives, and the national badminton community. This helped grow the club and lead to me being named USA Badminton Developmental Coach of the Year and a finalist for the United States Olympic Committee Developmental Coach of the Year. I am thankful to all of you for helping me pursue my passion for badminton as a career.
Best of luck to all my graduating seniors in the future! I’ll miss you!
See more photos from the IHSA Season, Sectionals & State here!
See the full USA Badminton Jr. National Rankings here and click on “Latest Rankings”.
Current Jr. National Rankings of SPBA Players:
46- Samantha Merkin
2nd – Mady Berns/ Madison Fortman
Cons 1st – Elizabeth Onishchenko/Yixuan Wang
Cons 2nd – Naomi Ecanow/Katherine Ortell
3rd – Isaac Lu/ Preston Lee (OH)
2nd – Kiley Walsh/Jonathan Shee (MA)
3rd – Brinda Dollu/Chun Lok Lo (MA)
Cons 1st – Allison MacDonald
Cons 2nd – Gabrielle Ecanow
2nd – Katie Jarosz/Jiayi Huang (Egret)
3rd – Gabrielle Ecanow/Allison MacDonald
Cons 1st – Vanshika Ramesh/Emma Wagner (Egret)
Cons 2nd– Sarah Litwin/Sydney Merkin
2nd – Esther Shi/Claire Pan (MO)
3rd – Kaitlyn Lu/Nitya Nagarajan (MBC)
Cons 2nd– Michelle Cai/ Katherine Zeng
4th – James Sugrue
2nd – James Sugrue/Justin Yang (MBC)
3rd – Esther Shi/Jason Xie (CT)
4th – James Sugrue/Kaitlyn Lu
3rd – Alexandra Sugrue
Cons 1st – Jyotsna Harikrishna
Cons 2nd – Kathleen Jin
3rd – Megan Wei/Joie You
3rd – Jyotsna Harikrishna/Alexandra Sugrue
3rd – Alexandra Sugrue/ Rupak Biswas (CT)
3rd – Anna Cai
4th – Elisabeth Clavel
As an Athlete Ambassador for World Sport Chicago, Shannon has partnered with McCormick Elementary School for the 2013-2014 school year. On October 22nd, Shannon gave a one hour assembly on badminton, goal setting and the importance of physical fitness. She also emphasized the importance of the Chicago Public Schools’ 30+20+10 initiative, which offers students 30 minutes of physical education, 20 minutes of recess, and 10 minutes of in-class physical activity.
Shannon’s presentation was very interactive.. including equipment demonstrations, goal setting activities, children trying badminton for the first time, lots of questions from the students, and even some points between Shannon and a teacher! The kids had a great time! Read more and see photos here!
A few weeks ago, Shannon had the privilege of returning to the US Olympic Training Center for the third time this year. The United States Olympic Committee invited her and fellow coach of Golder College Prep, Tina Lulla, to attend the 2013 Ethnic Minority Women in Coaching Leadership Conference. She also toured the Olympic Training Center and attend a meeting at USA Badminton headquarters.
View photos of her trip here.
Shannon and Tina (pictured to the right) were inspired by workshops and presentations from a variety of experts in coaching and leadership including many female Olympic Gold Medalists who have gone on to incredibly successful careers in sport management. Shannon was particularly excited to see the presentation of five time Olympian Teresa Edwards (4 time Olympic Gold Medalist and 1 time Bronze Medalist in basketball). Shannon had been inspired by her when they first met four years ago when Teresa was induced to the US Olympic Hall of Fame along with the likes of The Dream Team and Bonnie Blair. Shannon had been a badminton performer at that event (picture at the Olympic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony to the left).