Youth players are invited to try out for Storm, the province’s junior competitive club teams, next month.
Ultimate Newfoundland and Labrador offers junior open and female teams in its competitive Storm program. Male- and female-matching players who are between the ages of 14 and 18 as of Dec. 31, 2019 are eligible to try out.
All tryouts will take place at the Techniplex in St. John’s.
Athletes outside the Avalon who cannot make the tryouts and are interested in the team, as well as all other inquiries, may be directed to Luke Dyer, Youth Development and Competition Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first ultimate frisbee school tournament in the province was hosted by Mount Pearl Senior High (MPSH) on March 22-23.
Eight teams participated in the tournament, which marked the debut of ultimate as a Foundation Sport with School Sports Newfoundland and Labrador (SSNL). The tournament used the four-on-four version of ultimate that has been adapted for school gymnasiums, which requires each team to field two male-matching and two female-matching players on the court at all times
“This tournament represents the first significant ultimate four-on-four, co-ed tournament at the high school level hosted in our province, and also the first tournament sponsored by SSNL — both huge accomplishments!” said Aaron Power, tournament director.
After two days of round robin play, teams from MPSH, St. Bonaventure’s College, Holy Heart of Mary High School and Baltimore School qualified for the semi-finals. St. Bon’s beat Holy Heart in a tight battle by a score of 13-11. In the other semi-final, MPSH defeated Baltimore 30-11.
MPSH then claimed the first SSNL high school regional ultimate banner by defeating St. Bon’s 19-7. They were undefeated in the tournament
Shae LeDevehat of MPSH was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player and Diego Kenny from Gonzaga Regional High was the Most Spirited Player
Holy Heart won the Team Sportsmanship banner
“Overall, it was impressive to watch all the teams play throughout the weekend and to see how much ultimate is growing in our region, both in terms of the number of teams participating and the skill level demonstrated,” said Power.
Ultimate NL would like to thank all of the volunteers who helped make this tournament a success. In particular, our thanks go to Power; assistant tournament directors Claire Moore-Gibbons, Natalie O’Donnell and Kathleeen Sullivan; game facilitator and Ultimate Canada president Rob Langridge; and those who manned the welcome, score-keeping and merchandise tables.
Ultimate Newfoundland and Labrador is pleased to announce that Veterinary Specialty Centre (VSC) of Newfoundland and Labrador is the new corporate sponsor for Storm and our youth provincial tournaments.
VSC, co-owned by Dr. Trina Bailey and John Mackenzie, is the only clinic in Newfoundland and Labrador that provides advanced medical care for pets in the province.
The duo became interested in sponsoring ultimate after watching their son, Ewan, participate in the junior open Storm program last year.
“I am so impressed by the communication, problem-solving skills and camaraderie of players on and off the field,” said Mackenzie. “I wanted to determine if there was anything our company could do to further support this inspiring behaviour, the skill development of the players and the growth of this commendable sport in the province.”
VSC’s sponsorship will help offset the cost of field rentals, athletic gear, travel and other expenses related to operating Storm, the province’s junior open and female competitive club teams. The sponsorship will also go towards expenses associated with hosting Ultimate NL’s annual elementary, junior high and senior high provincial tournaments this spring.
“We’re excited to partner with Veterinary Specialty Centre as it’s an organization that is invested in our community and shares our values in providing many opportunities for young people to play ultimate in this province,” says Nick House, president of Ultimate NL. “It will have an immediate impact on our Storm and youth programs, and help us expand them beyond what has been possible until now.”
“Ultimate is a great sport that is adaptable to many skill levels, making it inclusive and fun. It also brings people together in a positive way,” adds Dr. Bailey. “We look forward to being a part of an exciting season ahead.”
Ultimate Newfoundland and Labrador has selected two returning coaches and two new coaches to lead the 2019 Storm season.
Craig Stoyles is returning as head coach for the junior open team while Laurel Penney also returns as assistant coach.
Stoyles is a trained community ultimate coach and Special Olympics coach with 15 years of coaching experience. He also currently heads the team at Holy Spirit High School and is working on competitive coaching certification.
Penney is a trained community coach and is also working on certification at the competitive level. She’s currently the head coach at Beaconsfield Junior High and Waterford Valley Senior High and has organized many events and tournaments related to promoting Spirit of the Game.
“I love this sport,” says Stoyles. “I want to foster growth at a grassroots level by teaching the team the importance of Spirit of the Game and how to win with dignity and lose with grace.”
On the female-matching side, Natalie O’Donnell has been selected as head coach with Claire Moore-Gibbons filling the assistant coach role.
O’Donnell and Moore-Gibbons are two of only three nationally certified competitive coaches in the province. They are co-coaches at Mount Pearl Senior High, and O’Donnell also leads a team at Paradise Elementary School. They both coached the junior women’s team in 2015 that attended the Canadian Ultimate Championships (CUC).
“I’m excited to work with Ultimate NL to build a junior women’s program that’s sustainable and successful in the long-term,” says O’Donnell. “I really think that we have a lot of talent and room for development at this level here in Newfoundland and Labrador.”
All four coaches are currently involved in Ultimate NL’s youth competitive development camp.
The winter junior high development league will be take place on Mondays from Feb. 18-April 1 (no games on March 18) from 7-8 p.m. This league is open to players in Grades 7-9 and there is a $50 registration fee.
Both leagues will be held in the gymnasium in the Paul Reynolds Centre in St. John’s.
These leagues will focus on introducing new skills and enhancing understanding of ultimate while also providing the opportunity for more experienced players to develop their skills with progressive drills, one-on-one coaching and weekly scrimmages.
Ultimate Newfoundland and Labrador is offering a youth competition development camp for teens ages 13-18 this winter.
Participants will enjoy drills, skills development and game situations while also receiving one-on-one mentorship and guidance from experienced ultimate players and coaches. It’s the the first time that Ultimate NL has offered a camp specifically targeted at developing potential competitive athletes.
“The purpose of this camp is to help young players take their skills to the next level,” says Luke Dyer, Ultimate NL’s youth performance and development co-ordinator. “We will work with them to identify their strengths and weakness as well as show them what’s necessary and expected for players on a provincial-level team. Through individual feedback, we hope they can gain a greater understanding of what they need to work on to improve as ultimate players.”
“The purpose of this camp is to help young players take their skills to the next level.” – Luke Dyer
One of Ultimate NL’s priorities is to grow its junior competitive program. There are currently two competitive club teams in the junior open and women’s divisions, both named Storm. The competition development camp is intended to build player skills and capacity that will eventually help increase the competitiveness of the Storm teams.
In 2018, Ultimate NL sent its first junior women’s team to the Canadian Ultimate Championships where they finished 20th overall and second in the spirit rankings. The open team broke seed to finish 20th (up from a 24th-place ranking) and 11th overall in spirit.
“We’re offering them the opportunity to demonstrate and improve their skills, which they can then bring to competitive teams like Storm now and in the future,” said Dyer. “While you don’t have to be a Storm player to take part in the camp, we hope many participants will discover the fun and camaraderie that comes with playing on high-level teams and come out to tryouts later this winter.”
Storm tryouts will be held in February and March. Details will be announced in the coming months.
The competition development camp will be held on Thursdays from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at the Techniplex in St. John’s from Feb. 7-March 14. The cost is $60.
Six teams recently took to the court at the third annual Mount Pearl Senior High invitational tournament.
Mount Pearl Senior High, Holy Heart High School, Holy Spirit High School, Gonzaga High School and St. Bonaventure’s College participated in the one-day tournament held Dec. 8.
This year, the tournament format was changed to four-on-four to reflect the version of ultimate recently adopted as a Foundation Sport by School Sports Newfoundland and Labrador (SSNL). This version of ultimate is fast-paced and provides equal playing time for male and female players with a 2:2 ratio.
“Players really seemed to enjoy this change!” said Aaron Power, tournament organizer and coach of the Mount Pearl Senior High squad. “Play was very competitive and quick-paced with all games in the round robin being close and exciting games.”
The gold medal game saw St. Bon’s take on Holy Heart in a competitive and highly-spirited match. St. Bon’s won the game 14-9.