The Towson High Generals badminton squad traveled to Catonsville for their first league match of the young season. The defending county champions came away with both an 8-3 victory and respect for the Comets boys’ singles’ players.

“I just saw one of the best high school badminton players ever” said Towson coach Cary Sonneborn referring to Catonsville’s No. 1 boys’ singles’ player Yong Chen.

Chen easily defeated Towson’s Bryce Manubay 15-4 and 15-5, in what Sonneborn describe as the “most amazing performances I’ve seen in my nine years of coaching the sport.”

Chen, a transfer student from China, played on one of the provincial teams, which makes him one of the best junior players in a country with over a billion people. Sonneborn was equally impressed with Catonsville’s No. 2 boys’ singles’ player, Jasper Chyou, who defeated Billy Wu, 15-13 and 15-10.

“I’ve coached the last two gold medalists in boys’ singles,” said Sonneborn, “and these two are at least equal to those county champions.”

Towson controlled all but one of the remaining games to earn the victory. Led by a sweep in girls’ singles, girls’ doubles and mixed doubles, the Generals displayed depth that’s necessary to win consistently. Co-captain Laura Stec and partner Samara Cohen defeated Jeannine Stephens and Jasmine Chyou in No. 1 girls’ doubles’, 15-0 and 15-0. Co-captain Simon Towsnsend-Last and partner Justin Thau won their No. 1 boys’ doubles’ match, 15-4 and 15-7.

The remaining Catonsville win came in No. 2 boys’ doubles match with Alex Burinsky and Paul Lamuntad defeating Brandon Gotwalt and partner Benson Sebastian in an exciting 15-12, 10-15 and 15-11.

Towson hosted Franklin earlier in the week in a non-league game and won the opening season match by a score of 10-1. Franklin’s Stacy Sumedi served notice she will be a force to reckon with as she took Diana Reighart in three games, 11-15, 15-2 and 15-8. Reighart placed fourth in the county tournament last season making her one of the better girls’ players in the county. Sumedi will be a power in her division.

Towson will host Parkville Monday afternoon. The two schools have faced off twice in the past three county championship games.