Special teams and defence carried the day for Simon Fraser as Burnaby Mountain's resident football team travelled to Montana and snapped a seven-game losing streak in impressive fashion. (Photo by Garrett James property of Simon Fraser athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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Simon Fraser’s 30-3 win at Montana State Northern ticks all the old-school football boxes from pick-sixes, to blocked punts to goal-line stands!

From the moment Jerrell Cummings and Dayton Ingenhaag combined on a touchdown-saving tackle to stuff a fourth-and-one on the Simon Fraser goal-line on the first drive of the game, you got the feeling Saturday might indeed be a special day for the dedicated but long-suffering fans of the football team from Burnaby Mountain.Turns out it […]

UBC rookie quarterback Garrett Rooker knows his team has to get off to quicker starts on offence as the Thunderbirds' Canada West season is set to hit its midway mark in its next game, Oct. 16 on the road against the Regina Rams (Photo by Richard Lam property of UBC athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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After red-zone & special teams struggles add up to home-opening loss to Huskies, UBC coach Nill resolute: “I am not ready to give up on the season, it’s a baptism by fire!”

VANCOUVER — On Friday, the calendar turned to October as the UBC Thunderbirds kicked off one of their latest home-openers on record.Yet in the aftermath of a 43-15 loss to the visiting, No. 9-ranked Saskatchewan Huskies before a sell-out crowd of 2,500 at the stadium, just the team’s second game of a shortened six-game Canada […]

UBC's Texas Tornado, freshman quarterback Garrett Rooker, gets his first home start under true Friday Night Lights conditions when the Blue and Gold pay host to the Saskatchewan Huskies. (Photo by Don Voklander property of U of Alberta athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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Ahead of Friday’s UBC home opener, Saskatchewan head coach Scott Flory tips his cap to a gutsy debut by ‘Birds rookie QB Garrett Rooker!

VANCOUVER — Last Saturday, there was a moment when UBC rookie Garrett Rooker showed us all both the kind of quarterback he already is and the kind of leader he is surely set to become.Rooker, in what may well be one of the best-ever statistical debuts by a ‘Birds freshman quarterback, went 32-of-45 for 372 […]

UBC Thunderbirds head coach Blake Nill knows that the Saskatchewan Huskies will bring an old-school mentality to the 'Birds home opener on Friday. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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UBC football home-opener 2021: Young ‘Birds to get physical test from Sask. Huskies, says coach Nill: “They’re a tough, old-school program that plays the game like it’s the 50s, 60s and 70’s”

VANCOUVER — The more you play the Saskatchewan Huskies, the more things stay the same.That tweak on a classic cliche was so apropos this week, because when Varsity Letters chatted mid-week with UBC Thunderbirds’ veteran head coach Blake Nill, you could almost feel the need to check your figurative chin strap.Looking ahead to the ‘Birds […]

Simon Fraser linebacker Griffin Barrett has his own definition of what legacy means to a university football team. (Photo by Paul Yates property of SFU athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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A SUNDAY READ: In trying times for Simon Fraser football, an old school linebacker named Griffin Barrett defines legacy through his own actions on Seniors Night!!

BURNABY — He’s survived and thrived through three different coaching regimes with the Simon Fraser Football Team, but on Saturday night, at his home away from home atop Burnaby Mountain, you could say that for the first time, something actually caught up to Griffin Barrett: The pre-game Seniors Night festivities which marked the final home […]

UBC rookie quarterback Garrett Rooker is a harbinger for the future of UBC Thunderbirds football. (Photo by Don Voaklander property of U of Alberta athletics 2021. All rights reserved)
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UBC takes one on the chin in season-opening setback in Alberta, yet the freshman QB-to-WR duo of Rooker and Soriano keeps fires of hope burning!

Garrett Rooker and Jason Soriano are going to put up some big numbers over their five seasons together with the UBC Thunderbirds.It’s a fact which was borne out on the turf at the University of Alberta’s Foote Field Turf on Saturday, where the 1-2 freshman punch of the Texas-raised quarterback Rooker and the former Vancouver […]

Simon Fraser football team head coach Mike Rigell. (Photo by Paul Yates property of Vancouver Sports Pictures 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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4 Questions for Mike Rigell: As SFU football prepares for 2021’s final home game Saturday, the coach chats on WR’s Morrison, Meadors, the defence and Seniors Day!

BURNABY MOUNTAIN — Week 4 and Seniors Day are two things that don’t go together in the lexicon of football, yet with summer barely over and the seats at the new SFU Stadium at Terry Fox still squeaky clean, that is the scene which has been set this Saturday night at Terry Fox Field.A curious […]

Prized UBC quarterback recruit Garrett Rooker eyes the scene downfield during throwing drills at UBC's 2021 fall training camp at Thunderbird Stadium. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of Varsity Letters 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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UBC Football 2021: Postmarked ‘Texas’, Garrett Rooker emerges from ‘Birds deep talent pool to be named starting quarterback ahead of Saturday’s opener at Alberta!

VANCOUVER — Sometimes, stuff happens that makes you want to thank your lucky stars.For UBC Thunderbirds head football coach Blake Nill, one of those days was May 8 of 2020.“Some days are better than others,” wrote Nill that day on his official Twitter account in announcing that quarterback Garrett Rooker, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound quarterback out […]

UBC freshman receiver Jason Soriano spent the lost 2020 season honing his skills as a full-time pass-catcher for the Birds. Now, the ex-Vancouver College star is part of three-man receiving core head coach Blake Nill has nicknamed The Smurfs. Soriano digs in on a route during a fall camp session last week. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of Varsity Letters 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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UBC Football 2021: Thunderbirds’ head coach Blake Nill dubs his diminutive, speedy receiver trio of Soriano, Phillips, Williams as ‘The Smurfs’ ahead of Saturday opener at Alberta!

VANCOUVER — As children of the 2000’s, you couldn’t blame a certain trio of UBC Thunderbirds’ receivers for being a little perplexed last week when head coach Blake Nill announced during a team gathering that he had discovered their perfect nickname.“I have these three guys who are all around 5-10 and they have burners,” explained […]

A near-capacity crowd jammed the stands as SFU Stadium at Terry Fox Field officially opened Saturday in Simon Fraser's 36-14 football loss to Central Washington. (Photo by Garrett James property of Simon Fraser athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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A SUNDAY READ: Lightning flashes from the football gods try to steal SFU’s thunder on stadium-opening night, valiant fight falls short against CWU Wildcats!

BURNABY — The Simon Fraser football team knew it was going to have to catch lightning in a bottle in order to upset the heavily-favoured Central Washington Wildcats on Saturday as SFU Stadium at Terry Fox Field had it official opening ceremonies.What it didn’t know was that in the midst of its best stretch of […]