Mentor, Leader, and BHS Ultimate Star: Maya Standard


Brian MacDonald

Standard competes against the Montpelier team in 2021.

13-year-old Maya Standard joined the BHS ultimate team in 2017, the first year that boys’ and girls’ ultimate teams were separated. Standard was only an eighth-grader, stepping up from Edmunds Middle School. Despite her age, the 13-year-old had more experience than most on the team. Since age 11, Standard had been playing pickup games with her brother and a group of adults at Rock Point School, located near BHS. This initial introduction proved to be the beginning of an impressive ultimate career.

Standard challenges a defender in the 2019 Pioneer Valley Invitational Tournament. (Photo: Courtesy Christina VonDoepp)

Now, in her senior year, Standard is a captain of the Girl’s Varsity Ultimate team, and a key player for both BHS and the Equinox team, a co-ed team of Vermont’s strongest youth players. The 2021 season marks her fifth consecutive year playing ultimate at BHS.

Former assistant coach and current varsity coach, Karen Spach, has witnessed Standard’s transformation. The 2021 season is her fifth year with the BHS ultimate program.

“It’s kind of incredible seeing how much she’s grown as a leader, over that time,” Spach said. “She came in, from my perspective, loving frisbee and working hard at it, and being a great player, but now she’s able to also be a great leader.”

Ultimate frisbee is an unusual sport, with many learning the rules at tryouts for the first time. Both competitive and inclusive, the team’s environment makes ultimate fun and welcoming, even for the team’s newest players. 

The ultimate team gathers for a cheer at Pioneer Valley Invitational Tournament in 2019. (Photo: Brian MacDonald)

“It’s almost like a different game when you’re playing with total beginners, versus more seasoned players,” Co-captain Ariel Felcan said. 

One of Standard’s standout traits is her ability to teach and support these beginners.

“She’s super patient, which I admire,” Felcan said.

At practices, Standard can often be found leading drills and giving tips to her teammates. 

“I think [there’s] this quiet leadership that she has,” Spach said. “When she speaks, you listen.”

For the 2021 season, Standard will play as handler, the main thrower, and controller of the frisbee on the team.   

 “I think that she makes things happen. She does all the right things,” Spach said. “[When Maya] gets going, she can truly dominate. I’d love to see her just put that aggressiveness out there.”

In addition to her skill, Standard is reliable. 

“As far as playing goes, [she’s] extremely consistent,” Felcan said. “You can count on her to catch the [disc] no matter how you throw.”

Standard is a handler on the BHS Girls’ Varsity Ultimate team. (Photo: Brian MacDonald)

Even though she is a star, Standard stays humble and dedicated. As the season continues, both Felcan and Standard have high hopes and big goals for the team.

From Standard’s first experiences playing ultimate, to her position as captain, she has maintained the welcoming ‘spirit of ultimate.’

“Maya embodies a little bit of ultimate where she has this drive and everything, but also an inherent fairness and morale,” Spach said. “Her morals are high and she’s going to have fun, but be doing the right thing.”

Girls Varsity Ultimate will have their next game against South Burlington on Saturday, May 1, at 3 p.m. Support the team at BHS’s Buckhard Field. To learn more, visit the BHS Athletic Schedule.