By Jing Villamil
For the 10th consecutive year
Pozorrubio Badminton Team Retains IRAA Overall Championship
THERE was no stopping them; the gold was there, and theirs for the picking.
In the secondary level, boys and girls division, they harvested the gold in the singles. When, still, they did not settle for anything less than the gold in the doubles and mixed doubles, they were declared Team Overall Champion in the 2008 Ilocos Region Athletic Association (IRAA) Meet held at Lingayen, Pangasinan last February 24-29.
Jeatte Hendrix Pajarillo and Gretchen Grace Culaste won 3 golds each in Singles, Mixed Doubles and Team. Georgina Flores and Racquel Manangan, were awarded 2 golds each in Doubles and Team. Jefrey Noces got the last of the 2 golds in Singles and Team. These are all students from Benigno V. Aldana National High School (BVANHS).
Being trumpeted as the best bet of Region I to net its share of the national harvest of gold is nothing new to these kids. The Pozorrubio Badminton Team is on its 10th consecutive year as IRAA Overall Champ, 1999 to 2008.
On April 21-25, this team aims for the biggest chunk of gold, that of the Palarong Pambansa to be held this year in Puerta Princesa City, Palawan. Last year, if not for a slight quirk of luck, Pozorrubio’s Badminton Team would have been the country’s best. They settled for the silver in the 2007 Palarong Pambansa held at Koronadal City in Mindanao.
No one has the heart or the intention to temper down this aim of going for the national gold, not even the slightest reality bit. Not their trainor Alex Dela Cruz, or their coaches Perlene Dela Cruz and Rachel Fernandez, or their major government sponsor for the past 10 years (the Office of the Mayor of the Municipality of Pozorrubio), their private benefactors, and the sports officials of the Department of Education, Pangasinan II and Region I.
Ten years is a lot of actual on-the-spot preparation and training. It is also a lot of waiting time, balls and patience flying in the wings.
On the other hand, Dilan Elementary School Badminton Team was a surprise performer in the IRAA. The team managed to emerge as 3rd placer in the doubles and team event. Joanna Marie Carbonel and Amelie Corpuz got 2 Bronze medals each for Doubles and Team effort. Wynzel Cayabyab received one Bronze for Team.
Pozorrubio is the only town in Pangasinan which grants substantial cash incentives to its young ones for victories garnered during curricular/extra-curricular contests.