When the BC School Sports-sanctioned provincial ultimate championships touch down at Newton Athletic Park this week, Mike Dumouchelle expects a two-day grind for the players he coaches on the senior team representing Guildford Park Secondary.
In games involving his Sabres and other co-ed squads, discs will fly on 14 fields at the park on 128th Street for a tournament of B.C.’s best high school ultimate-ers, on May 23 and 24.
“There will be lots of games,” Dumouchelle said of the competition, to involve eight pools of four teams in round-robin play on opening day (Thursday), followed by a championship round the following day (Friday).
To get to provies in the AAA class, Dumouchelle’s seniors cruised to a Fraser Valley regional championship with five straight wins.
Coached by Michelle Davis, Guildford Park’s juniors achieved the same result at Fraser Valleys to also earn a berth at provincials at Newton Athletic Park, in a BC Ultimate-backed tourney on the weekend of May 25-26, following senior provincials.
Of the four ultimate teams at Guildford Park, two are going to provincials.
“We have more than a hundred kids playing (the sport) at the school,” Dumouchelle explained.
“We’ve been going for a long time,” he added. “Back when the league was created, back in 2005 or something like that, we got the team going, and we’ve been growing and growing. Over the last five years, a lot of our players also started playing on club teams, in addition to school teams. A bunch of them went to nationals in Brampton last year.… The program has really taken off since we encouraged the students to try club.”
In ultimate, the first team to score 13 points wins the game. Points are scored when the disc is thrown by one player to another in the end zone, football-style, with a time limit of 10 “stalls,” or seconds, for a pass to be made. Per team, seven players are on the field during game play.
In the senior provincials at Newton Athletic Park, 32 teams will compete – 16 at the AA level (for schools with 300 or fewer students in Grades 11 and 12) and another 16 in the AAA division (more than 300 students in those grades).
@GPSabres1 The Junior Ultimate team has captured the 2018/2019 Fraser Valley Championship and has earned a berth to BCSS High School Ultimate Championships @SSSAA_SD36 #GPSabres pic.twitter.com/hqMDVwbU5d
— Mike Dumouchelle (@CoachDumo) May 13, 2019
@GPSabres1 One day after the Jrs did it, the Senior Ultimate team won all five games today to secure the AAA Fraser Valley Championship and earn their berth to next week's BCSS Ultimate Provincial Championship @SSSAA_SD36 #GPSabres pic.twitter.com/FnPTXb7gWs
— Mike Dumouchelle (@CoachDumo) May 15, 2019
As for berth allotments, the seniors of Guildford Park will be among five Fraser Valley-region teams in AAA action.
“Queen Elizabeth (Secondary) and North Surrey will be there,” Dumouchelle explained. “We beat (Queen Elizabeth) in the finals (of the Fraser Valley tournament), but they beat us earlier in the year so we got our revenge.”
Sullivan Heights’ team is also entered in the AAA draw.
On the AA side, Surrey Christian and Regent Christian are among teams.
In 2018, Eric Hamber Secondary won the AAA ultimate crown at provincials, and RC Palmer took the AA title.
“We went to provincials last year, but I can’t remember what place we finished,” Dumouchelle said with a laugh. “We did fairly well, I know that.”
He said the co-ed nature of the sport has made it a popular activity at Guildford Park.
“Boys and girls want to play together, friends, and also families – having brothers and sisters on the same team is pretty common.”
Ultimate was adopted as an official BC School Sports activity at its 2018 annual general meeting.