New badminton coach accepts large crowd, creates “family”

Livia Lund , Staff Writer

New badminton coach Rodney Lossow discusses matches with badminton players. The team has grown largely this year due to Lossow’s no cut policy. “It’ll make the program better in the long run just because you're gonna get a girl who maybe wouldn't try out and she gonna really excel and grow.” He explained.
New badminton coach Rodney Lossow discusses matches with bandminton doubles team; Harmony Morales and Derartu Ansha. The team has grown largely this year due to Lossow’s no cut policy. “It’ll make the program better in the long run just because you’re gonna get a girl who maybe wouldn’t try out and she gonna really excel and grow.” He explained. Photo: Livia Lund

In mid-March, as students and staff walked through Souths doors in the morning and wandered toward the commons they might have noticed a man sitting at a table with a large sign the words “join badminton” proudly written on it. That man was Rodney Lossow, new head coach of the girl’s badminton team this year.

Lossow came into the position after Coach Frisvold or “Coach Friz” retired from coaching last year. Previously, Lossow spent much of his 20+ years of coaching at Roosevelt high school. However, due to his two son attending South he began to transition here, and is now also an assistant football and men’s basketball coach at South. “When the badminton job came up because Coach Friz was stepping down I just thought, ‘what a great opportunity to put everything all in one building,’” he said.

Along with the new coach came many new girls, causing the numbers to nearly double from previous years. A main reason behind this is Lossow’s policy of no cutting this year, meaning everybody who tried out got on the team. Lossow explained “It’ll make the program better in the long run just because you’re gonna get a girl who maybe wouldn’t try out and she gonna really excel and grow.” Senior Tika Salsabila said she likes that everybody is welcome. “That’s one good thing about this year, that he didn’t…. cut the team and just accepted everyone.”

Badminton is often thought of as a casual sport to play in someone’s backyard but, according to Lossow it’s a lot more. “I love the strategy end of it,” he said, “There’s a huge amount of strategy in badminton that people don’t even really think about.” Badminton also is a very face-paced sport. “Over a 25-35 minute period you’re gonna have a winner and you’re gonna have a loser,” Lossow explained, “This is fast explosive and you move onto the next game.”

Lossow’s coaching style is unique because he aims to impart character values on his players, such as humility and serving others. A lot of the time these values can be extended beyond the badminton court such as “how it is important to reject passivity,” explained Lossow. “You can go all the way to social justice on topics like that.”

Another important character value that Lossow stresses is teaching the team to be a family. “‘He [was] really specific about it, ‘we all family’ I don’t care if you like or dislike each other outside of the team but when we are here we are family. We choose to love.’” explained Sophomore Bella Kantharak, “I like it, it makes me feel comfortable.” Salsabila agreed with Kantharak, and joked “Our cheer is ‘123 tigers! 456 family! And people just stare at us like ‘what…’”

The future looks bright for this growing team, with the hope to win city championships as South has done for at least 5 years except for last year. Lossow also has the goal of helping the girls grow as people. “We teach them what it means to be a leader, how to be strong and how to finish.”