Athlete Spotlight: Bethany Boniface


Erica Kelble

Senior Bethany Boniface smashes the birdie during a game against IND on March 19. Boniface plays varsity doubles with senior Fiona van der Steur.

Kathy Deaver, Sports Editor

Grade: senior

Position: varsity, doubles one

Accomplishments: on varsity team that won 2013 championship

Years Played: three

Breathing heavily, Bethany Boniface lunges for the birdie and narrowly misses. It hits the ground, giving her opponent a point, and the girls surrounding her court shout and cheer.

“Every time the other girl got a point, they screamed,” Boniface, currently a senior, said, recounting her first badminton game during her sophomore year.

JC was playing Garrison Forest in the opening match of the season, and Boniface was in the JV singles three position, the last person to play her games. She had also missed a week of practice due to a skiing injury.

“I lost like 21-1 both games,” Boniface said. “My team was supportive, but it was so embarrassing.”

After her sophomore season as a singles player, Boniface, as a junior, paired up with fellow junior Fiona van der Steur to play varsity doubles three for the 2013 season. The duo won all but two of their matches that season.

This season, both seniors are in the varsity doubles one position.

“I was a little concerned at first because [doubles] number one was scary, but we did pretty well against IND [March 19], and I expect the year to get better,” Boniface said.

“[Boniface] works really, really hard, and she and Fiona have worked together for so long that they’re just a really good combination,” badminton coach Tess Gauthier said.

“Fiona’s good at her drops, and I’m good at my smashes,” Boniface said.

“If we were a cell, she’d be the powerhouse,” van der Steur said.

In badminton, the varsity and JV teams each put up three singles players and four doubles pairs to play best-two-out-of-three sets against the opponent. Each pair or player who wins scores a point for the team, and the winning school is the one whose players win the majority of the seven games.

“My favorite part [about badminton] is playing doubles [because you] can be excited with your partner,” Boniface said.

Van der Steur agreed. “I love being able to play with my best friend because it makes [the game] more fun than competitive.”

During the last season, both Boniface and van der Steur made the switch from singles to doubles, and they “did a lot better that way,” according to Boniface. The pair had only two losses, and varsity went on to win the IAAM championship.

“We have the possibility [of winning the championship this year],” Boniface said. “It’s just hard [to predict] because you don’t know how good the other teams have gotten, [but] it looks promising.”

Besides badminton, Boniface has also played field hockey for four years at JC. According to her, field hockey requires more “endurance skills” but are is also similar to badminton “because you have to read the ‘field’ to know what correct maneuver you have to do to win the ball or, with badminton, get a point.”

Boniface says she always “talks up” badminton.

“Although people make fun of us, it’s a really fun sport,” Boniface said. “ It’s a lot harder than people think.”

Kathy Deaver is a Sports Editor for The Patriot and