The Argyle Pipers are back! And Boy are They Good
For years, something has been lacking on Vancouver’s North Shore. Can you guess what that something was?
If you guessed, a Senior Boys Volleyball Team playing out of Argyle Secondary School, you’d be correct.
For more than 20 years the program sat dormant, until the Pipers Senior Boys team was resurrected this year by head coach Shon Sim – A fairly well-known coach in BC volleyball circles, having coached at Handsworth Secondary School and in Volleyball BC’s club system for the past several years.
Sim’s vision of getting more North Vancouver representation in BC High School Boys Volleyball started all the way back in 2010, when he’d routinely coach several club volleyball teams in the area of various age groups just to get more boys on the North Shore interested in the game.
And in March of 2017, Sim, some parents and volunteers got together with Argyle’s athletic counsel, and after multiple votes saying ‘no’, again and again, the Schools Vice Principal stepped in and said yes to Argyle putting together a Senior Boys Volleyball team for the 2017 season.
“On average, it’s been about 20-to-30 hours a week that I spend volunteering and trying to get more boys involved in volleyball,” Sim said. “I played growing up, and for me, it’s my way of giving back to a community that I live in.”
Guided by Sim, the Pipers won the Lower Mainland region for Senior Boys Volleyball in their very first year back. Something, people in volleyball circles say isn’t that surprising given Sim’s resume in the sport.
“Going into our first year, the coaches that I know, know what I bring, so they said we should be able to win Lower Mainlands,” Sim said. “But, for us to come from ground zero, to winning Lower Mainlands, it’s pretty cool.”
Leading the way for the Pipers is one half of the current BC 17/18U Beach Volleyball Provincial Champions, Grade 12 player and team captain, Markus Bratsberg.
”I coached Markus when he was younger in the Club system, and the maturity of his game, even back then was so far ahead of his time,” Sim said. “The coaches will jump in and play against him and even then, he always seems to know what you’re going to do and where you’re going to go before you do.”
Along with playing competition in his own age group, Bratsberg and his partner, Matt Marthinsen routinely line up and play Pro and Semi-pro beach volleyball players during the summer.
“It’s obviously a lot different (from playing high school volleyball) because some of the men’s teams we played have 30 year’s experience in the sport, but the experience certainly helps,” Bratsberg said.
He also added that his seemingly psychic court sense comes from playing against some of the Men’s Pro beach volleyball teams in the area.
Another player the Pipers have relied on is Grade 12 player, Adam Kartusch who has played a number of years in the club volleyball system.
“Playing club is great experience because you’re going against strong players all the time and it’s really prepare us (Kartusch and Bratsberg) to be captains this year,” Kartusch said. “It’s great to be able to get the extra reps in during the high school season and I’m so thankful to all the parent and coaches who have made this happen.”
The Pipers finished the day 2-1 in Pool G play.
The rest of the results from Day 1 of AAA Senior Boys Volleyball action can be found HERE.