The Peoria Unified School District has grown over the years to its current list of seven high schools, and with each addition has come an increase in the quantity and quality of athletes, particularly among the girls.
The 2013-14 school year offers another opportunity for the ladies to excel.
The district is adding the sport of badminton, creating a niche for girls who might not fit in with volleyball or cross country.
“It has been in the discussion, been in the works for quite awhile, and now is the right timing for its implementation,’’ said Peoria District athletic director Mike Sivertson. “It was the next logical fit for our district. We are excited to have badminton for the first time.
“We had various meetings and had a lot of good input from students who were interested. It was received very well.’’
The new Division I, Section VII for badminton is made up of Peoria District schools Glendale Cactus, Peoria Centennial, Glendale Ironwood, Peoria Liberty, Peoria, Glendale Raymond S. Kellis and Peoria Sunrise Mountain.
Preseason practice will begin with most of the other non-football sports, with the first matches set for later in August. Teams will play 16 matches during the regular season. Two of those can be invitational tournaments, Sivertson said.
“We hope to develop some good rivalries within our district and in the neighboring areas,’’ Sivertson said.