Varsity Letters Podcast
Canada's only podcast dedicated solely to BC High School and University sports.
info_outline Episode 18: June 10, 2020 06/10/2020
Episode 18: June 10, 2020 Welcome back to Varsity Letters - The Podcast for June 9, 2020. Big news this week in the world of Canadian university sports means we’ll welcome three guests to the pod this week! Joining us will be UBC Director of Athletics Kavie Toor, longtime Trinity Wester University head women’s soccer coach Graham Roxburgh, and Football Canada president Jim Mullin. All three guests will shed their perspective on the Canada West's cancellation of its fall season Monday, touching on the uncertain future which lies ahead for student-athletes, as well as the financial realities which have begun to emerge three months into the Covid-19 pandemic. Varsity Letters, Canada’s only podcast dedicated solely to provincial university and high school sports coverage, is produced by Gabriel Lynn, and available at Apple Music, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Our theme music, Generation Next, is written and performed exclusively for Varsity Letters by Chad Joiner and the MEI Screaming Eagles marching band.
info_outline Episode 17: June 4, 2020 06/04/2020
Episode 17: June 4, 2020 Welcome to the Varsity Letters podcast for Thursday, June 4. Today we welcome UBC Thunderbirds head track and field coach Laurier Primeau back to the podcast to chat about the state of the sport and the loss of the spring season following his program’s dual win at the 2019 NAIA national championships. Laurier also reflects on B.C.’s graduating Class of 2020 high school seniors, a special two-sport recruit headed to his program, and the influence of his late high school coach Dave Nichols. But before any of that, we address the world’s pressing story, discussing last week’s killing of George Floyd and the power of sport to address our most serious issues, including racism. As well, I introduce the podcast by speaking about the powerful video released Wednesday featuring UNBC basketball player and Prince George Secondary grad Tyrell Laing. Varsity Letters is Canada’s only podcast dedicated solely to provincial high school and university sports. We’re here each week at VarsityLetters.ca and also wherever you listen to podcasts, including Apple Music and Spotify.
info_outline Episode 16: May 27, 2020 05/27/2020
Episode 16: May 27, 2020 Welcome back to Varsity Letters - The Podcast! This week, B.C. Secondary School Football Association president Travis Bell joins host Howard Tsumura to discuss what lies ahead for high school football in B.C. ahead of what is hoped to be an on-schedule September kick-off. Of course, it’s a fluid situation, and Abbotsford’s Bell — a former head coach at W.J. Mouat and current vice-principal at Robert Bateman Secondary — addresses the challenges in these unprecedented times. Varsity Letters, Canada’s only podcast dedicated solely to provincial university and high school sports coverage, is produced by Gabriel Lynn, and available on Apple Music, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Our theme music, Generation Next, is written and performed exclusively for Varsity Letters by Chad Joiner and the MEI Screaming Eagles marching band.
info_outline Episode 15: May 21, 2020 05/21/2020
Episode 15: May 21, 2020 Welcome to another edition of Varsity Letters-The Podcast. This week, we speak with Walter Van Halst, the commissioner of the B.C. Secondary Schools Rugby Union on the future of the sport within the provincial high school ranks. B.C. high school rugby was coming off one of its most successful seasons ever in 2019 with a newly-established championship playoff structure lending opportunity for four tiers of title contention. Van Halst speaks to the fluid situation facing all of the province’s individual sports commissions during this challenging time of COVID-19. Varsity Letters is Canada’s only podcast dedicated solely to the world of B.C. provincial and university sports. You can listen to us on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Varsity Letters is produced weekly in the Greater Vancouver area by Gabriel Lynn. Our theme music is written and performed exclusively for the podcast by the MEI Screaming Eagles Band.
info_outline Episode 14: May 13, 2020 05/13/2020
Episode 14: May 13, 2020 Welcome back to another episode of Varsity Letters - The Podcast! On this week’s show, we chat with newly-named Fraser Valley Cascades men’s basketball coach Joe Enevoldson, the former coach of New Westminster’s Douglas College Royals. Coach Enevoldson addresses his move to the U Sports level, talks about a pair of ‘big’ recruits, and speaks to the fraternity of Canada West coaches he is set to join, a group which includes the like of established B.C. coaches like Kevin Hanson, Craig Beaucamp and Scott Clark. Varsity Letters is Canada’s only podcast dedicated solely to the world of B.C. provincial and university sports. You can listen to us on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Varsity Letters - The Podcast is produced by Gabriel Lynn with original theme music ‘Generation Next’ written and produced by the MEI Screaming Eagles Band maestro Chad Joiner.
info_outline Episode 13: May 6, 2020 05/06/2020
Episode 13: May 6, 2020 Varsity Letters — The Podcast is back. Apologies for our extended absence. Today, we are joined by Jesse Hundal, the teacher/boys basketball coach at North Delta Secondary School. Jesse chats openly and positively about the challenges facing both teachers and students these days as the 2019-20 academic year comes to a close amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course we also touch on the special nature of high school sports, the re-birth of Huskies basketball, and we take time to honour a special student-athlete— Brandon Bassi — who helped bring a unique level of character and caring to the hallways of his school before his passing in May of 2019 at the tender age of 19. Varsity Letters — The Podcast is available right here at VarsityLetters.ca, or streamed via Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play or wherever you listen to podcasts.
info_outline Episode 12: November 27, 2019 11/27/2019
Episode 12: November 27, 2019 Varsity Letters — The Podcast is celebrating basketball and football as the calendar gets set to take us into December. Joining us first is Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Howard Kelsey, who brings us up to date on the Greater Victoria Invitational NCAA women’s basketball tournament, as well as all the big news on tap with the Canadian men’s national team and its bid to qualify for the Olympics. Hint: Our NBA players may participate en masse. As well, we’re joined by Simon Fraser football’s Rysen John, the 6-foot-7 receiver who speaks not only to the next challenge in his gridiron career, but on his high school days spent playing for Vancouver College. He’ll be cheering on the Fighting Irish when they face Lord Tweedsmuir in Saturday’s Subway Bowl AAA final at B.C. Place. Varsity Letters is Canada’s only podcast dedicated solely to the coverage of provincial high school and university sports. You can find us here each Wednesday, or at Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play or wherever you listen to podcasts.
info_outline Episode 11: November 20, 2019 11/20/2019
Episode 11: November 20, 2019 The Varsity Letters’ podcast is back, and ready to not only chat about football and basketball, but about the home for so many of our province’s top high school invitational and championship tournaments. First, in the spirit of this Saturday’s Subway Bowl Final Four weekend at B.C. Place Stadium, Vernon Panthers’ head coach Sean Smith chats about the Okanagan powerhouse which faces Parksville’s Ballenas Whalers in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 battle of undefeated teams. Al Tuchscherer, the head coach of the Abbotsford’s Fraser Valley Cascades women’s basketball team stops by to set up his team’s challenging weekend two-game homestand against the Canada West-leading Lethbridge Pronghorns Friday and Saturday at Envision Financial Athletic Centre. The 2019-20 Cascades are filled with an intrguing blend of youth and experience. And finally, we had to the Langley Events Centre to speak with longtime former newspaperman Gary Ahuja, the LEC’s manager of communications and media. Reminiscing about his near-15-years with the Langley Times paper, and speaking to the passion he feels in his new posting, Ahuja and the rest of the LEC staff are preparing to host the B.C. senior boys (AA and AAA) and girls (AAA, AAAAA) volleyball championships, plus the boys and girls Tsumura Basketball Invitationals, all over the next month. Varsity Letters — The Podcast, is Canada’s only weekly podcast dedicated solely to the coverage of provincial university and high school sports. You can find us at VarsityLetters.ca every Wednesday, or wherever you find your podcasts (Spotify, Apple Music (formerly iTunes) and Google Play Music.
info_outline Episode 10: November 14, 2019 11/13/2019
Episode 10: November 14, 2019 We’re one day late due to the Remembrance Day long weekend, so thanks for your patience and your loyalty to Canada’s only podcast dedicated solely to provincial university and high school sports coverage. Joining us on the show today: *Kelowna Owls head coach Chris Cartwright explores all of the great things that happen over the journey of building a high school football program as the Owls prepare to face the Vancouver College Fighting Irish on Saturday (2:30 p.m.) at B.C. Place Stadium. *Former Canadian senior women’s national team head coach Allison McNeill stops by to talk about the Semiahmoo Totems, the high school team she coached to the B.C. AAA girls title last season. We also touch on her past, including her days playing and coaching at the University of Oregon. *And finally, Ryan Clark of the Vancouver Whitecaps and gamechangersports.ca comes aboard to talk about the NCAA’s early signing day, which took place on Wednesday. Clark reflects on the joys of his job, helping high school athletes take that next step in their lives as collegiate athletes. You can listen to Varsity Letters — The Podcast each week right here on the website, or at places like Apple Music and Spotify.
info_outline Episode 9: November 6, 2019 11/06/2019
Episode 9: November 6, 2019 Welcome to November! The 11th month means playoff football and the start of the basketball season, and our line-up of guests reflects just that. Vancouver College Fighting Irish head coach Todd Bernett stops by to break down his team’s incredible defensive play this season ahead of its Subway Bowl opener Saturday at home to Rutland. We’re also joined by Douglas College head men’s basketball coach Joe Enevoldson as the Royals prep for a big CCAA PacWest home opener Saturday against the Langara Falcons. And we close out the show with Jeff Gourley, the veteran head coach of East Vancouver’s Sir Charles Tupper Tigers senior boys basketball team. The Tigers will take part in the 2019 Tsumura Basketball Invitational set to run 4-7 at the Langley Events Centre. Varsity Letters - The Podcast is Canada’s only weekly podcast dedicated solely to provincial university and high school sports. You can listen to us each Wednesday on Apple Music (formerly iTunes), Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
info_outline Episode 8: October 30, 2019 10/30/2019
Episode 8: October 30, 2019 It’s Wednesday, and as we reach midweek, it means the launch of another episode of Varsity Letters — The Podcast. Today we focus on football and basketball. Joining us to begin the program is St. Thomas More Knights football coach Steve De Lazzari, who talks about all the little things which have added up to a six-game win streak for his team heading into Friday’s regular season finale: A battle for the Eastern Conference title against Surrey’s Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers. We’ll also be joined by a pair of basketball coaches. Deb Huband will lead her UBC Thunderbirds into the opening week of the Canada West season as they hit the road to face the Regina Cougars for games Friday and Saturday. As well, longtime coach Bobby Braich stops by to chat about the prospects for the Yale Lions’ senior girls basketball team, a squad which could be one of the nice surprises at the top level of the game this season. Yale will take part in the annual Tsumura Basketball Invitational Dec. 11-14 at the Langley Events Centre. Varsity Letters — The Podcast is available online each Wednesday at VarsityLetters.ca, or at Apple Music, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. We’re Canada’s only podcast dedicated solely to the provincial-wide coverage of high school and university sports.
info_outline Episode 7: October 23, 2019 10/23/2019
Episode 7: October 23, 2019 The Podcast is back from its one-week sabbatical! Thanks for joining us and thanks for your continued loyalty to Canada’s only podcast dedicated solely to the coverage of provincial high school and university sports. Off the top, Simon Fraser Clan head football coach Thomas Ford checks in to chat with host Howard Tsumura about his team’s 24-17 win Saturday at Azusa Pacific, the team’s first win against NCAA Div. 2 competition since 2014. Ford also talks about the fact that two of his players were named the GNAC’s Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, and he looks ahead to this Saturday’s tough test on the road against the vaunted Central Washington Wildcats in Ellensburg. Next, we stay with football, this time of the high school variety, as we’re next joined by W.J. Mouat Hawks head coach Andrew Harder. Mouat, riding a three-game AAA Pacific Conference win streak, faces a fellow undefeated conference team in the Rutland VooDoos this Friday in Abbotsford. Then, we close out the show by visiting with Trinity Western Spartans rugby coach Andrew Evans, whose first-year program came away with a shield victory at the West Coast 7’s invitational which wrapped up over the weekend in Sam Francisco. You can listen to Varsity Letters — The Podcast right here on the website every Wednesday. We’re also available at Apple Music, Spotify or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
info_outline Episode 6: October 9, 2019 10/09/2019
Episode 6: October 9, 2019 Thanks for joining us for another episode of Varsity Letters — The Podcast! Basketball season is just around the corner and with it, the start of another season of the NCAA variety atop Burnaby Mountain. Simon Fraser Clan head coach Steve Hanson has orchestrated one of the biggest turnarounds in college basketball over the past few seasons and he joins host Howard Tsumura right off the top to talk about an exciting new season ahead in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. The VL Pod then heads off to Cloverdale for a chance to talk high school football with Lord Tweedsmuir head coach Kurt Thornton. So many great things have happened for the Panthers’ program over the past few years, and we talk with coach Thornton about it all, from players to coaches to the new setting in place this season for LT home games! And to close things, Rob Sollero, coach of the senior boys basketball team at Coquitlam’s Centennial Secondary, chats about the momentum built from his program’s return to the B.C. AAAA tournament last March and all the good things in store this season. Varsity Letters is Canada’s only podcast devoted solely to provincial high school and university sports. You can catch us wherever you listen to podcast, including Apple Music (formerly iTunes) and Spotify.
info_outline Episode 5: October 2, 2019 10/02/2019
Episode 5: October 2, 2019 The Podcast returns for another week, this time touching on football, basketball and rugby. Off the top, we visit with Canadian Under-20 men’s rugby coach Adam Roberts, the longtime head coach at Surrey’s Earl Marriott Secondary. Roberts and host Howard Tsumura talk about the inherent pride that comes with Canada taking to the pitch against New Zealand for its second game at the World Cup of Rugby, as well as the growth of the game at the youth level in B.C. Then, it’s a Varsity Letters first. We catch up with Kelowna Owls head coach Chris Cartwright and New Westminster head coach Farhan Lalji in the moments immediately following wins by their high school football teams this past Friday! And we close out the show with a visit from Paul Eberhardt, now nearly 40 years into his coaching career. The head of the Langara Falcons men’s basketball team reflects on his career, talks about his team and its recent scrimmage with the UBC Thunderbirds, and both Eberhardt and Tsumura renew their shared vows in the Kelly Olynyk Fan Club, following some inspiring comments from the South Kam grad earlier this week at Miami Heat training camp. Varsity Letters is Canada’s only weekly podcast dedicated solely to the coverage of provincial high school and university sports. You can catch us here each Wednesday, or at Apple Music, Spotify, or wherever you listen to the podcasts.
info_outline Episode 4: September 25, 2019 09/25/2019
Episode 4: September 25, 2019 Welcome back, loyal listeners, to another episode of Varsity Letters — The Podcast, Canada’s only weekly podcast dedicated solely to the coverage of provincial and university high school sports. This week, our three guests are: *UBC’s Laurier Primeau, the head coach of Thunderbirds’ cross-country, and track and field, reflecting on last spring’s dual national championships, and the upcoming World Track and Field Championships in Qatar where five former UBC athletes will compete. *South Delta Sun Devils’ head football coach Ray Moon on his team’s upset win last week over No. 1-ranked Vancouver College. *Fraser Valley Cascades head men’s soccer coach Tom Lowndes on his team’s pivotal weekend road swing through Kelowna and Kamloops, and how a soccer-loving kid from Wales found a home at the Abbotsford-based university. Varsity Letters is available at Apple Music, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts.
info_outline Episode 3: September 18, 2019 09/18/2019
Episode 3: September 18, 2019 Welcome back to Varsity Letters — The Podcast! As mid-September hits, footballs are in the air everywhere, including the respective home bases of our three gridiron guests this week. Simon Fraser head coach Thomas Ford takes us from fall camp through to Saturday’s home opener at Swangard Stadium against South Dakota School of Mines. As well, UBC offensive coordinator Taylor Nill outlines the challenges of a young team trying to find its identity on offence as the Thunderbirds head to Winnipeg on Saturday to face the Manitoba Bisons. We’ve also got Ryk Piche, the head coach of the Langley Saints’ high school program, reflecting on the maturation of his team and its impressive 2-0 start! Varsity Letters produces the only podcast in Canada dedicated solely to provincial high school and university sports and we are available at Apple Music, Spotify, or wherever you find you’re podcasts.
info_outline Episode 2: September 11, 2019 09/11/2019
Episode 2: September 11, 2019 Varsity Letters — The Podcast is back with episode No. 2 in our re-launch. This week, we open our show with a high school football theme, celebrating Saturday’s 35th anniversary of the Abbotsford Panthers’ 1984 B.C. championship win over the Notre Dame Jugglers. Paul Gill, Denis Kelly and Jalem Catlin are all a part of the past, present and continued future of this storied rivalry and all three stop by to chat with host Howard Tsumura. As well, we hit the trails for the opening of the 2019 NCAA cross-country running season with Simon Fraser head coach Brit Towsend as she leads her nationally-ranked team of harriers into competition Saturday at Central Washington University. Subscribe to Varsity Letters, and listen to us at Apple Music, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.
info_outline Episode 1: September 4, 2019 09/04/2019
Episode 1: September 4, 2019 There’s a sense deja vu filtering through the airwaves this week around the province of B.C. with return of Varsity Letters — The Podcast. Long a weekly staple during my years at The Vancouver Province, we’re back for the first time since 2016, right here at Varsity Letters. This week, we’re honoured to have as our first two guests: New Westminster Hyacks head football coach Farhan Lalji, and UBC Thunderbirds men’s basketball coach Kevin Hanson. You can find the podcast right here each week at Varsity Letters, at Apple Music, or wherever you find your podcasts.