The 2024 Newsday All-Long Island boys badminton team. Front row,...

The 2024 Newsday All-Long Island boys badminton team. Front row, from left: Jerry Zhang of Jericho, Rajveer Gujral of Half Hollow Hills, Jonathan Chau of Jericho and Haoran Xia of Great Neck South. Back row, from left: Coach Anthony La Rosa of Jericho, Niyanth Ponnusamy of Half Hollow Hills, Melvin Thu of Great Neck South, Howard Zheng of Jericho and Justin Roberts of Half Hollow Hills. Credit: James Escher

Newsday Player of the Year: Rajveer Gujral, Half Hollow Hills, Jr.

Gujral has proven his dominance on the badminton court once again.

Gujral beat Smithtown East’s Ben Felber 21-12, 21-8 in the boys singles final at the Suffolk boys individual badminton championships, securing his second consecutive title and continuing the Gujral dynasty.

“I’m just really happy, to be honest,” Gujral said.

Rajveer Gujral of Half Hollow Hills returns a volley during...

Rajveer Gujral of Half Hollow Hills returns a volley during the Suffolk boys badminton singles championship at Half Hollow Hills East on May 15. Credit: James Escher

Gujral beat every opponent he faced this season, proving why he’s the best on Long Island. He defeated Dean Fang, 21-15, 21-11, at first singles at the Suffolk team championships, where Hills fell 6-3 to Commack.

Gujral is already looking forward to the chance at a three-peat, and there’s some extra motivation behind it. His brother, Jaiveer took home the title in 2021 and 2022. Rajveer hopes to outdo his brother. He has one more chance.

“I’ve got to one-up my brother,” he said.

Melvin Thu, Great Neck North, Sr.

Thu took home his second consecutive Nassau singles title. He remained unbeaten all season, finishing 9-0.

Haoran Xia, Great Neck South, Sr.

Xia finished the season with a 7-3 record at first singles.

Howard Zheng, Jericho, Sr.

Zheng had just one loss on the season, finishing with a 9-1 record at first singles. He was the runner-up at the Nassau County individual championships.

Jonathan Chau and Jerry Zhang, Jericho

The duo was undefeated (10-0) at first doubles. They won the Nassau doubles championship and helped lead Jericho to their seventh consecutive county championship and third consecutive Long Island Championship.

Newsday's All-Long Island teams for the spring 2024 season came to Melville for a special photo shoot. NewsdayTV's Carissa Kellman reports. Credit: Anthony Florio

Niyanth Ponnusamy and Justin Roberts, Half Hollow Hills

Ponnusamy and Roberts took home the Suffolk doubles crown and finished the season 16-2.

Coach of the Year: Anthony LaRosa, Jericho

LaRosa was able to uphold Jericho’s legacy in his first year at the helm. He helped lead the team to their seventh consecutive Nassau championship and third consecutive Long Island championship.


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