High school team headed to national tourney in Montreal
By Megan Stewart, Staff writer, Vancouver Courier
York House has its Tigers. St. George’s its Saints. When the all-girls and all-boys private schools hit the turf together to play ultimate, they’re Tight.
“The kids like the slang,” said head coach Jon Hayduk. “And it’s how we play.”
Tight means running smart patterns, quick throws and relentless defense. They will be tested this weekend in Montreal at the second annual Canadian high school ultimate championships. They are the only team to represent B.C.
One of the sport’s most-involved builders in B.C., Hayduk also plays for renowned Vancouver team and the winningest in Canadian history, Furious George. He helps run the provincial championship as well as the national tournament staged this weekend.
Hayduk—who the kids call by his last name so it sounds almost like, “Hey dude!”—is one reason ultimate is attracting hundreds of Vancouver teens to high school programs.
Like winning teams at Point Grey, Prince of Wales, Kitsilano and elsewhere in the city’s past and present, Hayduk and other community coaches seeped in ultimate culture bring expertise to developing athletes. Vancouver’s public and private schools play in separate leagues but meet in tournaments. Club teams also build skill and help foster loyalty, sportsmanship and healthy rivalries. Teammates at school may be opponents on club teams. The camaraderie is a defining feature of the game.
“It’s really social,” said York’s Natalie W.
“Ultimate is really team-focused,” added Laura B. “If you have just one good player on a team, you’re never going to win.”