Five Muskie ‘birders’ advance to NWOSSAA

After more than 150 games of badminton were played yesterday at the NorWOSSA finals at Fort High, five Muskies left with medals draped over their necks indicating they had advanced to NWOSSAA.
Ten Muskie players had qualified for NorWOSSA with hopes of being one of the top two finishers in each division to move on to Manitouwadge next Wednesday.
Sandi Elliot claimed the team’s first medal.
Despite a sprained ankle she suffered in her first of five games yesterday, Elliot still managed to post a 4-1 record to earn second place in the junior girls’ division (her lone loss came against the first-place winner from Beaver Brae in Kenora).
“It just got worst and worst and I’ve been icing it all day,” Elliot, 15, said afterwards.
“I was going to quit, but my coach [Brian Church] told me to keep going and ice it and get it taped,” she added. “It hurt lots, but it was all right.”
Joining Elliot at NWOSSAA at the junior level (Grade 9 and 10) will be Tim Desjardins, who defeated teammate John McCormack in a highly-intense playoff showdown for second place in the boys’ division.
“I’m pretty happy with the way things worked out,” Desjardins said.
He will be joined in Manitouwadge by his older sister, Simone, a late addition to the Muskie team who used her years of experience (she’s been to the all-Ontarios three times) to take second place in the senior girls’ division.
“I wasn’t planning on playing this year, so it was kind of last-minute so this is really good,” said Simone, 18, who went 4-1 during the round-robin.
And another Desjardins sibling also advanced to NWOSSAA as her younger sister, Natalie, 16, teamed up with Justin Enge, 17, to go undefeated in their five matches in the senior mixed doubles division.
“We want to make it OFSAA,” said Desjardins.
“We’re just going to go NWOSSAA [where the top two senior players will advance to OFSAA] and do the same things we did today” echoed Enge.
“We’ve got to stay focused and don’t give up, and always have fun,” he added.
“It’s not just about winning, but also about having fun.”
The Muskies finished in fourth place in the team point standings with 48.
Atikokan once again claimed the trophy (they have won the team trophy 21 of the 23 years) with 89 points.
Thomas Aquinas finished in second place (55), edging out Beaver Brae (52).
Rainy River finished fifth with 25 points, followed by Dryden in sixth (22), Red Lake in seventh (18), and Ignace in eighth (one point).