For Tracy Hudson to become a dedicated badminton player, first she had to lose.
Hudson, a junior at Garden Grove High School, won the Southern Section individual singles title as a sophomore in only her second season playing badminton.
She assumed the title would be hers again as a junior.
Hudson didn't play once in the off-season. She spent the summer playing tennis, going to the beach and working at a part-time job.
Hudson learned the dangers of overconfidence quickly, though. In her first tournament, she was upset by Jeanmarie Condon of Rosemead.
"That (the loss to Condon) made me really work hard," said Hudson, The Times' badminton Player of the Year. "As soon as I lost, I put in my resignation at my job the next day and started to train hard."
She entered the Junior Nationals badminton championships in Manhattan Beach in April as an unranked player and advanced to the final of the 18-and-under division before losing.
"Right now she is highly motivated to improve," said Vicki Toutz, Garden Grove coach. "She doesn't like to lose, even in practice."
Hudson led the senior-dominated Argonauts (17-2) to the Southern Section 4-A championship. And Hudson won her second singles title, defeating teammate Thuy Nguyen in the final for the second consecutive season.
"The team title was special in a lot of ways for me," Hudson said. "I wanted to win because we had so many seniors and because of our coach. She was really the one to motivate me and make me work at my game."
With the season over, Hudson is working out two days a week at the Badminton Club of Manhattan Beach and training to improve her strength and consistency. Her goal is to win the junior nationals in New York next April.
"Last year I found out I just can't stop playing and come back and expect to be the best," Hudson said. "This time, I'm going to keep playing and getting better."
SINGLES Thomas Sudibjo Fullerton Junior Quyen Nguyen Ocean View Senior Tracy Hudson Garden Grove Junior Thuy Nguyen Garden Grove Junior DOUBLES Vu Trinh Gerardo Meza Buena Park Pat Campuzano John Armijo Los Alamitos Tuwen Truong Tien Do Saddleback Van Pham Thi Vuong Estancia Canh Ngyuen Thuy Ngyuen Garden Grove Thuan Quach Tracy Hudson Garden Grove Gerardo Meza Tu Le Buena Park