In football, the Big Cat Trophy is the prize given to the winner of the annual heated football clash between Palmetto and Killian.
On Wednesday afternoon, there was no animosity when the often fierce rivals shared a championship on the badminton court.
"I’m happy to share this with them," Killian coach Karen Harper said. "It’s a great family in badminton and competitive every year. It’s a real honor."
The two neighborhood foes split the GMAC championship after each finished with eight points upon conclusion of the competition at the Braddock gym.
Despite not posting a single individual champion, Killian came away with its first county title in the sport. The Cougars posted runners-up in boys’ singles (Christopher Hallstrand), girls’ doubles (Cassidy Barker/Sofia Gonzalez) and a third-place finish in girls’ singles (Ryann Puente).
Palmetto, led by the triumphant boys’ doubles team of seniors Michael Trainor and Johnny Nguyen, captured its first GMAC title in three seasons. Trainor and Nguyen, who trained together during the offseason, each celebrated their first GMAC title.
"This past year, Johnny has been going to the athletic club as often as possible," Palmetto coach David Zarco said. "And when I saw him and Michael play I wanted them together [on the same team]. They just meshed and had great chemistry together."
Varela’s Leana Lu and Valerie Sanchez won the girls’ doubles title with a tough three-set win over Barker and Gonzalez of Killian.
Ferguson’s Shadid Adam and Angela Chapman secured the mixed doubles title with a win over Madison Chamizo and Leonardo Sanchez of Southwest.
Reagan sophomore Brian Bangoy, an accomplished youth player who finished his first season at the school, cruised through the boys’ singles division to win his first GMAC title. Goleman’s Alyssa Moore clinched the girls’ singles title with a 21-11, 21-6 win over Mourning’s Milana Datieva.
Team standings: 1. Killian and Palmetto 8; 3. Southwest, Reagan and Ferguson 6; 6. Varela 5; 7. Goleman and Mourning 4; 9. Sunset 2, 10. Braddock 1. Individual finals – Boys’ singles: Brian Bangoy (RR) d. Chris Hallstrand (KIL) 21-14, 21-13; Girls’ singles: Alyssa Moore (GOL) d. Milana Datieva (ATM) 21-11, 21-6; Boys’ doubles: Michael Trainor/Johnny Nguyen (PAL) d. Weimer Ronda/Fernando Diaz (SW) 21-13, 21-8; Girls’ doubles: Leana Lu/Valerie Sanchez (VAR) d. Cassidy Barker/Sofia Gonzalez (KIL) 15-21, 21-15, 23-21; Mixed doubles: Shadid Adam/Angela Chapman (FER) d. Madison Chamizo/Leonardo Sanchez (SW) 21-19, 21-11.