Four straight county titles. A record of 55-1 over the past four seasons. The Towson High Generals have been the dominant force in Baltimore County badminton since 2006 and look to defend their title once again this season. If the Generals accomplish this feat, they will have to overcome two challenges: youth and inexperience.

“We have a very young team this season,” said Towson coach Cary Sonneborn. “I have one senior girl starting and this is only her second year as a starter. I have seven junior girls starting and most of them have been on the team for just one season.

The secret to our success over the past four years has been court experience gained over 2 or 3 years, I don’t have that this season with the girls or the boys. I have six seniors starting on the boys’ side, all of them played last year but they also have limited court experience.”

Returning for the Generals are co-captains Laura Stec and Simon Townsend-Last. Junior Diana Reighart will play No. 1 girls’ singles and looks to go further than her fourth place finish in last years tournament. Playing boys singles one is Bryce Manubay, who was Townsend-Last’s partner last season on the No. 2 boys’ doubles tandem.

“We lost talent and experience to graduation. Many of the seniors who left had been starters for three or four seasons. They were some of the best in the county as evidenced by the medals they collected at the tournament,” said Sonneborn. “That kind of talent will be hard to replace. We have a good nucleus to build around, but now it is time for others to step up and contribute.”

The Towson squad will begin their quest for their fifth county title on Sept. 13 as they host Franklin. Key games that will measure their progress include the October 7 match against division rival, Pikesville. The Oct. 22 game with Dulaney looks to be another showdown badminton enthusiasts will be looking forward to.