Glendale High's Christiane and Angela Armendariz can hardly be blamed for feeling a little bored with badminton.
High school badminton, at least.
Only juniors, the Armendariz twins already have won two Southern Section 4-A Division doubles titles. Which is mild compared to their National Junior Doubles Championships in the 13-, 15- and 18-and-under divisions.
So the twins went in search of a challenge and found it on the softball field. Both are starters for Glendale--Angela at shortstop and Christiane at catcher.
The conflicting schedules of the badminton and softball teams have not been a problem because the twins normally do not compete with the badminton team. Glendale (17-0) is deep with talent and has used the twins in only four of nine Pacific League matches this season. Jane Ong and Fatima Jose are undefeated in doubles (30-0) this season and Sung Hong is 39-1.
"The times they don't play are times that they don't need to," Coach Pat Rogerson said.
Because they have spent much of the season as observers, the Armendariz twins have not devoted much time to training.
"We don't really have to practice too much," Angela said. "It's so much different than nationals."
The twins were introduced to badminton by their father when they were 10. Soon after, they started their annual journey to the nationals, competing in the 13-and-under division when they were 11. They have played in Boston, Chicago, Atlanta and Colorado Springs.
"You need a lot of endurance," Angela said. "It's really a very physical game. You have to run a lot and be quick on your feet."
Many high school players don't understand how the sport should be played, Angela pointed out.
"We're stronger than a lot of people that play," she said. "Most of the people haven't had enough experience to know how to play. Most people try to just get the bird back over the net. We're a lot more aggressive."
Which could earn the twins college scholarships. Christiane said that she and Angela are planning on playing only badminton next season in preparation for college. They will be an asset in singles as well as doubles. Angela defeated Christiane the national 13-and-under singles championships and the next year Christiane defeated Angela in the 15-and-under final. Then Angela took the title back the next season.
"We're going to do a lot of training with our brother," Christiane said. "If we don't train there will probably be a lot of people that can pass us by. We'll run a lot of drills and practice a lot of foot movement."