Garrett Rooker, a 6-foot-3 two-sport star at Clear Springs High, just outside of Houston, is headed north to join the UBC Thunderbirds as both a quarterback and guard-forward. (Photo provided by UBC football and Garrett Rooker)
Feature University Football University Men's Basketball

Garrett Rooker: How the UBC Thunderbirds found a Texas 6A-tier football/basketball standout in time for the 2020-21 season!

VANCOUVER — UBC reputation as one of the world’s great universities is certainly no secret to academia’s global community.On Friday, however, that same reputation not only earned the the school a top-flight entrant into its kinesiology program, but a blue-chip high school senior from Texas with the ability to be a difference maker both barking […]

UBC's Trivel Pinto (1) is set to catch the offerings of Bo Levi Mitchell after being selected in the second round of the CFL Draft on Thursday by the Calgary Stampeders. (Photo by Richard Lam property of UBC athletics 2020. All Rights Reserved)
A study in determination over his entire four-year Clan career, SFU's Rysen John signed a contract with the NFL's New York Giants on Sunday. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2020. All Rights Reserved)
Feature University Football

Rysen John: The Simon Fraser Clan’s pass-catching giant inks contract, set to attend main training camp with the NFL’s New York Giants

BURNABY — Its three-day virtual draft had just ended Saturday afternoon when Rysen John found out that even in these times of global pandemic, nothing has slowed NFL teams from reaching out and finding the best college football talent around.“After the last pick of the draft, I was like, ‘OK, cool,’” said John, the Simon […]

The graphic following his selection during the ESPN/NFL Network-produced coverage of the 2020 NFL draft, broadcast in Canada by TSN, told the story of Chase Claypool's rise from the Abbotsford Panthers to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Feature High School Football University Football

Chase Claypool drafted by Pittsburgh Steelers! Abby/Notre Dame star receiver ready to become a Big Catch for Big Ben!

Chase Claypool’s gridiron journey will move from one fabled football locale to another.Four seasons after Abbotsford’s Big Catch announced himself to the college football world in South Bend, Ind., with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the 6-foot-4, 238-pound receiver is on his way to Steel City for the start of his NFL career with the […]

Notre Dame senior wide receiver Chase Claypool has always found the time to stay connected with his former high school head coach Jay Fujimura and the rest of the Abbotsford Panthers football program. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2020. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Football University Football

Chase Claypool: From Abby Panthers to Notre Dame, Irish star receiver shows why he’s a big catch ahead of NFL Draft 2020!

It was back on Feb. 27 that the NFL’s statistical research department sent out a tweet which seemed to officially confirm the unique qualities of Notre Dame senior receiver Chase Claypool.

Defensive lineman Kaishaun Carter (left) and receiver/return man Jason Soriano are two of B.C.'s blue-chip graduating Class of 2020 set to begin their university football careers next season with the UBC Thunderbirds. (Photos by Howard Tsumura, Varsity Letters, and Richard Lam, UBC athletics. All Rights Reserved. Photo graphic by Gabriel Lynn)
Feature High School Football University Football

A Sunday Read: UBC football coach Blake Nill says Jason Soriano, Kaishaun Carter “…the ones who can make you Coach of the Year”

VANCOUVER — UBC Thunderbirds football in the Blake Nill-era hit its low ebb in 2019, yet four seasons after its rousing, unexpected 2015 Vanier Cup national championship title debut, a second wind has begun to blow through the ranks of the blue and gold.

UBC Thunderbirds head coach Blake Nill, along with the rest of the 'Bird football staff, will go on-line Wednesday to introduce the blue-and-gold program to over 100 current Grades 11 high school standouts as part of its virtual Junior Day. (Photo by Richard Lam property of UBC athletics 2020. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Football University Football

UBC football 2020: ‘Birds hold ‘virtual’ Junior Day on Wednesday as pandemic forces teams to think outside the box

VANCOUVER — Like all programs headed towards the fall sports season of play, the UBC Thunderbirds football team is keeping the health of everyone involved first and foremost during the coronavirus pandemic.

At the age of 42, former BYU Cougars' receiver Mike Rigell was last month named the new interim head coach of Simon Fraser Clan football. (Photo by Jacob Hall property of Simon Fraser athletics 2020. All Rights Reserved)
Feature University Football

A SUNDAY READ: Hailing from a decorated football family tree, new Simon Fraser head coach Mike Rigell hopes to plant deep Burnaby Mountain roots

BURNABY — There is an old saying about how storms can test our ability to stand tall, and in the process help our roots grow deeper.For new Simon Fraser head football coach Mike Rigell, who hails from a football coaching tree which traces its lineage back to some of game’s true greats, such deep-seeded roots […]

Over a senior season in which he led the brought all of his substantial skills to the fore, Simon Fraser Clan senior receiver opened eyes all over the college football world. On Sunday he plays in the 2020 Hula Bowl at Honolulu's venerable Aloha Stadium. (Photo by Paul Yates property of Simon Fraser Clan athletics 2020. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Football University Football

The rise of Rysen John: NFL scouts reaching out as Simon Fraser Clan receiver heads to Hawaii and suits up in Sunday’s Hula Bowl

BURNABY — As Rysen John prepares for his biggest audition yet, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that NFL eyes have begun to focus on Simon Fraser’s captivating senior receiver.

Less than a full year removed from playing his final high school game with East Van's Notre Dame Jugglers, Simon Fraser freshman cornerback Jerrell Cummings (8) came into Saturday's GNAC clash against Western Oregon tied for the conference lead in passes defended this season. (Photo by Paul Yates property of Simon Fraser Clan athletics 2019. All Rights Reserved)
Feature University Football

Simon Fraser football 2019: Greenhouse growth spirals among Clan freshmen like cornerback Jerrell Cummings

BURNABY — He caught a touchdown pass on the turf at B.C. Place Stadium in his final high school game last Nov. 17 for East Vancouver’s Notre Dame Jugglers.Late Saturday afternoon, less than 365 days after that 35-21 Subway Bowl quarterfinal round loss to the Terry Fox Ravens, Jerrell Cummings walked off the field at […]