Barbieri and Riptide to Host Seattle
by Scott Lewis
Photos by Jeff Bell
Looking at the Riptide’s record this AUDL season, you know there hasn’t been that much to celebrate. But one thing every player and fan can appreciate is the arrival on the team of of Ty Barbieri, who will lead Vancouver into battle against the Seattle Cascades this Saturday night at Swangard Stadium.
It’s not often a rookie leads his team in any category, but check out what Barbieri has achieved so far this season for the Riptide:
He is the highest rated defensive player, leading the team with 11 Ds.
He is also the highest rated offensive player, way out in front with 27 goals scored.
He has also led the Riptide in O points played, and is third in overall points played.
Hmmm, a tall fast agile player who can dominate on both sides of the disc? Does that remind you of anyone, Morgan Hibbert? Should we start calling him the Barbitron?
“Well I’ll tell this much for sure. He’s definitely cocky enough to fill my shoes if I ever retire. A key requisite…”
Over his long career, Hibbert has played with many all time greats. One past teammate comes to mind when he thinks about which player Barbieri reminds him of the most
“I can see him being a little bit like Mike Enns; athletic, and plays with a little bit of good recklessness. And like Mike, Ty is always just having a ball when he plays. Ty will become a better player than Enns was, though.”
OK, we’ll stick with Tybernator for now.
What makes Barbieri’s current status even more remarkable is that he started playing only six years ago, in Grade 9 at Sutherland High School. Fortunately, that brought him under the tutelage of a legendary Juniors coach.
“All my thanks for introducing me to the game and teaching me how to play the right way go to Carla Keffer. Believe it or not, she actually paid me $10 to come to tryouts. We still joke to this day that that was the best ten bucks she ever spent.”
“If it wasn’t for Carla, I wouldn’t be playing the game today.”
Barbieri also give much credit to another Vancouverite who has played with the Riptide in the past and likely will again in the future.
“My biggest inspiration has been Kevin Underhill. He coached at one of the first camps I attended as well as my first Junior team, Bonfire. He was obviously a great guy and had so much passion for the sport; that’s when I knew Ultimate was for me.”
“I have also been watching Callahan videos from the beginning, and the player that stands out for me is Dylan Freechild. The effort he puts out on the field is amazing.
In search of more playing time, Barbieri spent last Season with the Vancouver Nighthawks of the now defunct MLU, which seasoning has served him well this season when he moved up to join the Riptide.
Coach Troë Weston really likes what Barbieri has brought to the team
“Ty has a great passion for the sport and the drive to really improve as a player. His attitude towards the game and the rest of the team is wonderful. He wants to be a big player, and you can really see that in his work ethic and attitude.”
“I really appreciate his strong youthful energy,” adds Hibbert. “It is pretty easy to get excited to play frisbee when he is around because he is always revved up. That type of energy is what this team needs. I wish more of his teammates had his energy and desire to compete.”
“He effing competes. He doesn’t care who you are or what the situation is, he wants to beat you and he wants to win. It is a winning mentality and it is awesome.”
So early in his career, Barbieri is still a rough diamond with many facets of his game remaining to be polished, but he has already risen to the top in one aspect of play
“Ty’s greatest strength at this point in his career is striking,” said Weston. “He times his cuts well and knows his teammates and where to cut for them. He also makes a great striker because he can gauge when to jump to get it at his peak and really attack the disc. I suppose like all unseasoned players, he can get a bit impatient with the disc at times, but it isn’t detrimental very often.”
What does he need to realize his full potential? Hibbert puts it simply
“Keep playing, keep getting reps, get more experience.”
Barbieri will have to earn his reps this Saturday because for once the Riptide will have pretty well a full lineup. But you can’t keep a good man down; it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he ended up near the top among his teammates in playing time.
The Riptide’s remaining home games will all be held back in the friendly confines of Swangard Stadium. Next up, they face the Seattle Cascades on Saturday June 17rd at 6 p.m. You can buy tickets here.