Athlete of the Month – Tanisha Katoch

Washington High School’s badminton team has an extraordinary player, senior Tanisha Katoch. She has been part of the Varsity team for all four years, and was alternate captain her sophomore year. Katoch has played girls singles for all four seasons. Both on and off the courts, Katoch is a strong leader and enjoys encouraging others, making her a respected player.

Katoch began playing badminton “since 5th grade but professionally started in 9th grade.” Her love of badminton grew out of playing with her family, especially her mom. “Without my mother’s help I never would have learned to play badminton,” she says. Those moments with her family allowed her to “learn new tricks that made her really interested in the sport” and inspired her to continue badminton.  

Katoch spent her freshman year working hard to make the Varsity team as a singles player. Washington’s badminton rosters are curated by a series of rankings, meaning that Katoch had to beat all the Junior Varsity players before playing the Varsity team members. With hard work and perseverance, Katoch was able to make it. To this she adds, “Since badminton is based on rankings, I worked really hard my freshmen year to keep my Varsity spot all 4 years.” This means that every year, Katoch was able to beat the Junior Varsity players to retain her Varsity position. 

The end of the badminton season is marked by the Mission Valley Athletic League (MVALS) tournament, where teams come together to determine the best players in their respective sports. With her drive, Katoch was able to reach the top eight for the girls singles category her freshman year, beating out all the other freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. This was a very difficult task, especially for her first year in the sport. However, her achievements only pushed her to do better. Both the badminton coach and players were able to see the determination and love Katoch had for the sport, and she was appointed alternate captain afterwards.

 Despite her stellar performance in the sport, Katoch remains humble. She loves playing badminton and says “playing badminton every year has made me a better player which I’m thankful for.” Her hopes for her senior year badminton season are simple: to continue to improve, lead her team to success, and most of all- have fun. After high school, Katoch hopes to continue to play, perhaps on a recreational team or even as a hobby. 

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