The Merritt Secondary School’s co-ed team of ultimate frisbee players have had anything but a ‘regular’ season this year, but the team still managed to fight their way to the provincial championships, securing a strong 7th place in the champions pool despite a season of fires and flooding.
The team attended the BC School Sports Provincials for ultimate frisbee at a specifically designed ultimate frisbee field in Surrey’s Newton Athletic Park, playing six games over two days to ultimately end up in 7th place, earning a 1:1 win to loss ratio over the weekend.
“I think we were looking to place a little higher, and we were missing a few of our key runners, but overall we played well and definitely deserved our spot in the champions pool,” said Taylor Larter, head coach for the team and science teacher for MSS.
“It validated us getting to the champions pool. The team that we did lose to on day one ended up winning the entire thing and getting first in the province for AA.”
Games kicked off on May 28 in Surrey, with day one of the tournament boasting three round-robin style games, with the Panthers winning two of three games on the first day, securing a spot in the champions pool, rather than the lower eight pool. Day two saw the Panthers lose two of their games, winning their final game 13-9 against Elphinstone Secondary School from Gibsons, BC.
“I really try my best to make it fun. Win or lose, we’re still having fun at the end of the day. Ultimate is very much about spirit.”
Moving forwards, the MSS ultimate frisbee team, and athletics department alike, will prepare for the schools upcoming athletic awards ceremony to recognize its student athletes. A number of the team’s players and coaching staff are involved with Helios Ultimate, a recreational league many join over the summer months.
“The thing that impresses me the most is that almost all of our players also participate in some other sports, and they work. The fact that they’re able to make it out once a week, and they give it their hearts and their all each game, it blows me away,” added Larter.
Larter also says the team’s resilience to being displaced and losing their training grounds has been admirable, showing up and giving their all despite these challenges and the pressures of exams, holding employment, and some even graduating.
The Panthers will pounce again, and it’s only a matter of time before their next big win.