By Jared Hwee ’19
In the interest of full disclosure, Jaren Hwee ‘19 is on the boy’s handball team.
The Boys handball team is training intensely to make Midwood a force to be reckoned with. The championship banner is given to one team out of the five boroughs. Coming close as the semi-finalist last year, the Hornets now have new additions to their line up, including three new rising stars and a new assistant coach.
The team’s coach is Mrs. Kimberly Lau, who had been coaching the team by herself for three years. Mrs. Lau is now accompanied by Mr. Eric Lee, the new assistant coach. Mr. Lee is a new special education teacher and has been working in Midwood since March. Mr. Lee plays ace ball professionally, and worked his way to becoming an “Open” player, which is considered one of the highest ranks a person can obtain. Mr. Lee volunteers his time to help the handball team improve both practices and at games.
“I enjoy coaching because it brings me back to when I was on my high school’s handball team, ” said Mr. Lee. “I can understand how they feel. I was just like them, rebellious, loud, and hungry to win. They’ve shown me they want to win and this encourages me as a coach to work harder because I want them to win too.”
Moreover, new starters have been introduced to the team. The three new players are Leibin Li’18 in first doubles, and Phillip Cen ‘19 and Kevin Mei ’18 in second doubles.
Li has been a rising star on the team, refining his skills and technique for past two years. His experience and overall chemistry with his doubles partner, Wilson Lu’ 19, has made him the perfect player for the job.
Li said, “I want to win because I practiced hard. I want to see that all the time and sweat pays off, and that it wasn’t for nothing. With this in mind, I’m willing to do anything to win.”
Li’s determination is evident in his gameplay. Li and his partner Lu have won all three their games. They have beaten Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School, James Madison High School, and Lafayette High School.
“My partner (Li) has been a key component to our recent victories,” said Lu. “We trust each other and communicate often. This has given us an edge over our opponents in our recent games, and I am happy that we can win together.”
Kevin Mei and Cen joined the team at the same time, practicing their team communication, their abilities and their team synergy. Both are comfortable with one another’s play style, and this has allowed them to conquer the other second doubles in their division.
“I was motivated by my friends, my teammates, and family to train harder so that I can get a spot on the team, ” said Cen. “I’m now returning the favor by encouraging my partner and my team to work harder, as they once did for me. I’m ready to play now, and I will not let my team down.”
Kevin Mei said,“It has always been a dream of mine to be part of a team. Our team is determined and works hard to win every game. My partner and I have worked hard for this spot, and we are ready to rise and exceed the expectations.”
Cen and Kevin Mei are rising threats in the Brooklyn division. The two are undefeated in the past three games they have played together, showing their opponents no mercy while leaving them all under double digits.
The three new additions are determined to win and have proven that they are ready to play. Mr. Lee has personally trained each of these new starters, and the training has paid off, which is evident in their recent success.
Timothy Mei ‘18 has been the captain of the handball team for two years and plays as the team’s first singles.
“I see the commitment they have towards the sport, as well as to the team, which makes me extremely honored to be leading them this year,” said Timothy Mei.“I have high hopes for the team this season, and I know we will bring that banner back to Midwood for sure.”
With the assistance of Mr. Lee and these new players, the team hopes to become an unstoppable force and find themselves with the banner that they have been striving for.