It’s the curtain call for a storied gym in North Vancouver.
Argyle Secondary’s gym is scheduled to be torn down soon, with a brand new facility expected to be done for the new school year in September. As a result, the upcoming Sea to Sky Zone Tournament will be the last big event that will be held there.
“It’s the first year of the tournament with the new boundaries for the various zones drawn up,” said Sue Kennedy, who has been involved with the athletics program at Argyle for over 30 years. “It’s a new thing for everybody with the addition of Quad A in the girls.
It’s a bit of unknown territory but looking forward to hosting the final games in Argyle’s gym with an event. The Argyle gym has seen a lot of great games over the years and nice to have a final event to put on.”
And there’s been a lot of good memories over the years. The girl’s programs especially have been a source of pride for the North Van school for some time.
“At one point I can remember the Vancouver Sun calling us the most successful girl’s athletics program in the province” explained Shawn White, another longtime volunteer for the Pipers athletics program. “We had such strength in volleyball, field hockey, cross country, basketball, gymnastics, track and field, soccer.
In the big team sports that are hotly contested, Argyle was always in the conversation, always in the top five in the province. It was a strong program across the board, and we had strong leadership amongst the staff members in all of those programs.”
The boys have had some good memories in the gym as well. Both Susan and Shawn both mentioned the same game at Argyle — the legendary contest between Argyle and Handsworth where Piper great Scott Morrisson ripped the rim off the backboard.
“I think anybody who was around at that time will remember that,” said White on that game. “That was probably the most exciting and certainly packed game ever — I mean you could not get another person into that gym that night.”
“It was a Friday night, the crowd was amazing” elaborated Kennedy. “The rim was broken, so there was a delay in the game. Somebody had to go to another school to get another rim. I believe Argyle won by one point and it was the year Argyle won the provincial championships. It was against Rob Sacre’s Handsworth team, and it was a pretty crazy era.”
The last two games will be on Friday night, and there’s a pretty good chance Argyle will be there competing in them.
“There are so many wonderful memories of practices and games, classes” beamed White over the phone. “Come out and enjoy this one big event. I think it would be fun to see each other and wish the building farewell. The program will still continue obviously in the new school but the gym is a pretty storied venue for both the girls and boys. I hope they come out and enjoy one final event in which Argyle is expected to do very well.”
A full schedule can be found here of the Sea to Sky tournament, with the final two games starting at 4:00 p.m. on Friday. If you’re a fan of history and local basketball, this is a can’t miss event.
Written by: Nick Bondi