The Sardis Falcons mascot welcomes Varsity Letters' readers to our list of B.C. high school sports nicknames. (Photo property of Wilson Wong 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School

Nicknames, nicknames: We’ve got the nicknames (of almost) every high school in B.C. right here!

Somewhere in my head is reserved a sacred space for not just my favourite high school teams of all time, but the ones with the best nicknames.

In what started out as an early-pandemic project last March before going into a very extended hibernation, has today, a year later, emerged as something of a finished product.

With the help of longtime friend and high school sports enthusiast Wilson Wong, I am somewhat confident in saying that we’ve produced a near-complete list of every high school in B.C. which fields a senior varsity (Grade 11-12) sports team. Middle schools have not been counted.

Yet I say “somewhat confident” because I know we have not gotten every one. Still, our list features some 314 schools.

My efforts over the spring break have been stymied by the fact that schools have been closed for two weeks, and thus we have a small list of schools that have been left off as incomplete because we either could not verify their nickname or the status of their sports program.

Nonetheless, I wasn’t going to wait another week!

This is a project I have wanted to complete for at least 20 years, and I am presently winding down Year 38 of my career at present.

I figured if I didn’t get it out there soon, I might never get around to it.

(If I have missed a nickname, either obscure or obvious, be kind and let me know with an email at howardtsumura@gmail.com)

As well, there are two other nickname-related stories available today. For the inside story on a B.C. high school with one of the most enduring nicknames click here. For a comical look at fantasy high school invitational tournaments based solely on nicknames and school names, click here.

Alas, it’s a mass of schools and their names. But to me, and I hope to so many of you, the loyal reader, it’s actually so much more.

Gleaning through the nicknames these past few days, I am immediately taken on trip down memory lane.

Even when I wasn’t a sportswriter, which I have been since the age of 19 (North Delta Huskies Class of 1981 grad), I just somehow knew school nicknames. The Gladstone Gladiators. The Eric Hamber Griffins. The Notre Dame Jugglers. The Steveston Packers.

That last one?

I come from a family of boat builders and fishermen, and when I head down to Steveston, and see some of the fibreglass gillnetters my dad and his brothers built still moored along the docks next to the old fish-packing plant, I just say to myself: “Calling Steveston Secondary’s teams the Packers was as close to perfection as there was.”

Of course if you are a seasoned high school sports person, you understand that communities evolve, and as change comes, schools can close or merge, leaving new identities in their wake.

Presently, after merging with London Secondary, they are now known as the Steveston-London Sharks.

As times change we obviously need to adapt with complete inclusivity, respect and sensitivity to all, and thus more change has followed.

Over two years ago, Quesnel’s Correlieu Secondary decided to drop its longtime moniker of Clan in favour of Coyotes.

Teams from Castlegar’s Stanley Humphries Secondary, long known as the Rockers and Rockettes, are these days also known as the Coyotes.

Earlier this month, Pleasant Valley Secondary in Armstrong announced its boys teams would no longer be known as Saints, and its girls teams as Sinners, as had been the case for at least the last 40 years. 

Yet sometimes nicknames are a home run from the second they are adopted.

Case in point, Terrace’s Caledonia Secondary calls its teams the Kermdoes (these days often referred to Spirit Bears).

Not only is the fair-furred cousin of the black bear native to the Terrace region, they are also B.C.’s official provincial mammal.

I pine for the return of the Cumberland Toppers (1957 B.C. boys basketball finalists) and West Vancouver’s Hillside Highwaymen, as much for their monikers as anything else. They just sound so good

I praise the fine folks in my late dad’s hometown of Prince Rupert for finding a way to keep the Rainmakers nickname alive at Charles Hays Secondary.

And I love turning great, long-lost nicknames into trivia questions, like this one: Which team lost to my alma mater, the North Delta Huskies, in the 1985 B.C. senior boys soccer championships, which in fact, were played at B.C. Place Stadium?

Yes, none other than Burnaby’s Alpha Aardvarks (now Eagles).

And to close?

How about going back to the fall of 1983 where as a 19-year-old Kwantlen College journalism grad, I suddenly found myself a long ways from home in Houston, B.C., pretty sure even then that writing about high school sports like basketball was going to be the passion of my professional life.

I showed up at practice one day at Houston Secondary and met the new head coach, a guy named Bill Barrie. The first question I asked him: What’s the name of the team?

“The guys took a vote, and we decided we are going to be the Wolverines,” said Barrie, who a handful of years later had moved south and led the Agassiz Chieftains to the 1988 B.C. Double-A title.

The Wolverines nickname has held a special place in my heart ever since, even when I discovered many years later that Houston Secondary had actually had a name which I have to say was even better.

For a team from the up-country that toils in relative obscurity on its way to a coveted B.C. tournament berth, what better name than the Houston Shadows?

Remember, if we’ve missed someone obvious, or you know of a more obscure school that indeed offers at least one senior varsity sport, give us both school and nickname. Once we confirm, we’re happy to add it to the list.

Nicknames. I love ‘em.

Here’s our list!

A.R. MacNeill’s Everett Swaim. (Photo by Wilson Wong property of Wilson Wong 2021. All Rights Reserved)

AAAAAAAAAA (13)

A.L. Fortune Falcons (Enderby)

A.R. MacNeill Ravens (Richmond)

Abbotsford Christian Knights

Abbotsford Panthers

Abbotsford Traditional Titans

Aberdeen Hall Gryphons (Kelowna)

Acwsalcta Timberwolves (Bella Coola)

Agassiz Chieftains/Eagles

Alberni District Armada

Aldergrove Community Totems

Alpha Eagles (Burnaby)

Archbishop Carney Stars (Port Coquitlam)

Argyle Pipers (North Vancouver)

Ballenas running back Jack Giroux. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2021. All Rights Reserved)

BBBBBBBBBB (19)

Ballenas Whalers (Parksville)

Barriere Cougars

Belmont Bulldogs (Victoria)

Bodwell Bruins (West Vancouver)

Boundary Central Roadrunners (Midway)

Brentwood College (Mill Bay) (no official nickname)

Britannia Bruins (Vancouver)

B.C. Christian Panthers (Port Coquitlam)

Brockton Grizzlies (North Vancouver)

Brookes Westshore Gryphons (Victoria)

Brooks Thunderbirds (Powell River)

Brookswood Bobcats (Langley)

Bulkley Valley Christian Royals (Smithers)

Burnaby Central Wildcats

Burnaby Mountain Lions

Burnaby North Vikings

Burnaby South Rebels

Burnsview Griffins (Delta)

Byrne Creek Bulldogs

The Caledonia Kermodes. (Photo property of Wilson Wong 2021. All Rights Reserved)

CCCCCCCCCC (28)

Caledonia Kermodes (Terrace)

Cambie Crusaders (Richmond)

Campbell River Christian Cougars

Canada Star Lions (Richmond)

Cariboo Hill Chargers (Burnaby)

Carihi Tyees (Campbell River)

Carson Graham Eagles (North Vancouver)

Cedar Spartans (Nanaimo)

Cedars Christian Eagles (Prince George)

Centennial Centaurs (Coquitlam)

Centennial Christian Seahawks (Terrace)

Charles Bloom Timberwolves (Lumby)

Charles Hays Rainmakers (Prince Rupert)

Chase Trojans

Chatelech Eagles (Sechelt)

Chemainus Cougars

Chetwynd Cavaliers

Chilliwack Storm

Claremont Spartans

Clarence Fulton Maroons (Vernon)

Clayton Heights Nightriders (Surrey)

Clearwater Raiders

College Heights Cougars (Prince George)

Collingwood Cavaliers (West Vancouver)

Correlieu Coyotes (Quesnel)

Cowichan Thunderbirds (Duncan)

Credo Christian Kodiaks (Langley)

Crofton House Falcons (Vancouver)

Holden Black of Prince George’s D.P. Todd Trojans. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2021. All Rights Reserved)

DDDDDDDDDD (15)

D.P. Todd Trojans (Prince George)

D.W. Poppy Redhawks (Langley)

Dasmesh Punjabi Falcons (Abbotsford)

David Stoddart Coyotes (Clinton)

David Thompson Lakers (Invermere)

David Thompson Trojans (Vancouver)

Dawson Creek Penguins

Deer Lake Falcons (Burnaby)

Delta Pacers

Delview Raiders (North Delta)

Desert Sands Rams (Ashcroft)

Dover Bay Dolphins (Nanaimo)

Dr. Charles Best Blue Devils (Coquitlam)

Duchess Park Condors (Prince George)

Duncan Christian Chargers

The Ecole des Pionniers Lynx and the Johnston Heights Eagles. (Photo property of Wilson Wong 2021. All Rights Reserved)

EEEEEEEEEE (14)

Eagle River Talons (Sicamous)

Earl Marriott Mariners (Surrey)

Ebenezer Canadian Reformed Auroras (Smithers)

École des Pionniers Lynx (Port Coquitlam)

Ecole Gabrielle-Roy Phoenix (Surrey)

Ecole Secondaire Jules Verne Albatross (Vancouver)

Ecole Victor Brodeur Dragons (Victoria)

Edward Milne Community Wolverines (Sooke)

Elgin Park Orcas (Surrey)

Elkford Celtics

Elphinstone Cougars (Gibsons)

Enver Creek Cougars (Surrey)

Eric Hamber Griffins (Vancouver)

Esquimalt Dockers (Victoria)

The Fraser Lake Cougars. (Photo property of Wilson Wong 2021. All Rights Reserved)

FFFFFFFFFF (11)

Fernie Falcons

Fernie Academy Fury

Fleetwood Park Dragons (Surrey)

Fort Nelson Huskies

Fort. St. James Falcons

Frances Kelsey Breakers (Mill Bay)

Frank Hurt Hornets (Surrey)

Fraser Academy Mustangs (Vancouver)

Fraser Heights Firehawks (Surrey)

Fraser Lake Cougars

Fraser Valley Adventist Royals (Langley)

The Grand Forks Wolves. (Photo property of Wilson Wong 2021. All Rights Reserved)

GGGGGGGGGG (14)

Garibaldi Rebels (Maple Ridge)

George Elliot Coyotes (Lake Country)

G.P. Vanier Towhees (Courtenay)

Gladstone Gladiators (Vancouver)

Gleneagle Talons (Coquitlam)

Glenlyon Norfolk Gryphons (Victoria)

Gold River Cougars

Golden Eagles

Gobind Sarvar Falcons (Surrey)

Grand Forks Wolves

Gudangaay Tlaats’Gaa Nay Thunder (Masset)

Guildford Park Sabres (Surrey)

Gulf Islands Scorpions (Salt Spring Island)

G.W. Graham Grizzlies (Chilliwack)

The Hazelton Spartans. (Photo property of Wilson Wong 2021. All Rights Reserved)

HHHHHHHHHH (14)

Handsworth Royals (North Vancouver)

Hazelton Spartans

Heritage Christian Saints (Kelowna)

Heritage Woods Kodiaks (Port Moody)

Highland Raiders (Comox)

Highroad Academy Knights (Chilliwack)

Holy Cross Crusaders (Surrey)

Hope Mustangs

Houston Christian Wildcats

Houston Wolverines

Howe Sound Sounders (Squamish)

Hudson’s Hope Hawks

Hugh Boys Trojans (Richmond)

Hugh McRoberts Strikers (Richmond)

The Immaculata Mustangs. (Photo property of Immaculate athletics 2021. All rights reserved)

IIIIIIIIII (1)

Immaculata Mustangs (Kelowna)

Phina Tu of the John Oliver Jokers. (Photo by Wilson Wong property of Wilson Wong 2020. All Rights Reserved)

JJJJJJJJJJ (7)

J.L. Crowe Hawks (Trail)

J.N. Burnett Breakers (Richmond)

J.V. Humphries Eagles (Kaslo)

John Barsby Bulldogs/Blazers (Parksville)

John Knox Christian Hawks (New Westminster)

John Oliver Jokers (Vancouver)

Johnston Heights Eagles (Surrey)

King George Dragons’ point guard Alejando Rios (left). (Photo by Mary Kessenich property of Vancouver Sports Pictures 2021. All Rights Reserved)

KKKKKKKKKK (14)

Kalamalka Lakers (Coldstream)

Kamloops Christian Eagles

Kelly Road Roadrunners (Prince George)

Kelowna Christian Knights

Kelowna Owls

Khalsa Lions (Surrey)

Killarney Cougars (Vancouver)

King David Lions (Vancouver)

King George Dragons (Vancouver)

King’s Christian Thunder (Salmon Arm)

Kitsilano Blue Demons (Vancouver)

Kumsheen Cougars (Lytton)

Kwalikum Kondors (Qualicum Beach)

Kwantlen Park Timberwolves (Surrey)

Lord Tweedsmuir’s India Aikins (left). (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2021. All Rights Reserved)

LLLLLLLLLL (17)

L.A. Matheson Mustangs (Surrey)

L.V. Rogers Bombers (Nelson)

Ladysmith 49ers

Lake City Falcons (Williams Lake)

Lake Cowichan Lakers

Lakes District Lakers (Burns Lake)

Lambrick Park Lions/Pride (Victoria)

Langley Christian Lightning

Langley Fundamental Titans

Langley Saints

Lillooet Wildfire

Lions Gate Christian Academy Lions (North Vancouver)

Little Flower Academy Angels (Vancouver)

Logan Lake Lightning

Lord Byng Grey Ghosts (Vancouver)

Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers (Surrey)

Lucerne Lakers

The Maaqtusiis Suns. (Photo property of Wilson Wong 2021. All Rights Reserved)

MMMMMMMMMM (20)

Maaqtusiis Suns (Ahousaht)

Mackenzie Sabres

Magee Lions (Vancouver)

Maple Ridge Christian Hornets

Maple Ridge Ramblers

Mark R. Isfeld Ice (Courtenay)

Matthew McNair Marlins (Richmond)

McBride Mustangs

Meadowridge Gryphons (Maple Ridge)

MEI Eagles (Abbotsford)

Merritt Panthers

Mission Roadrunners

Moscrop Panthers

Mountain Christian Rams (Dawson Creek)

Mt. Baker Wild (Cranbrook)

Mt. Boucherie Bears (Kelowna)

Mt. Douglas Rams (Victoria)

Mt. Elizabeth Eagles (Kitimat)

Mt. Sentinel Wildcats (South Slocan)

Mulgrave Titans (West Vancouver)

(The Norkam Saints. Photo property of NorKam athletics 2021. All rights reserved)

NNNNNNNNNN (13)

Nakusp Cougars

Nanaimo Christian Trail Blazers

Nanaimo District Islanders

Nechako Valley Vikings / Viqueens

New Westmintser Hyacks

Nisga’a Nighthawks (Gitlaxt’aamiks, Gitwinksihlkw, Laxgalts’ap, Gingolx)

NorKam Saints

North Delta Huskies

North Island Storm (Port McNeill)

North Peace Grizzlies

North Surrey Spartans

Northside Christian North Stars

Notre Dame Jugglers

Arshdeep Gill (right) of the Osoyoos Rattlers. (Photo by Wilson Wong property of Wilson Wong 2021. All Rights Reserved)

OOOOOOOOOO (3)

Oak Bay Bays/Breakers/Barbarians/Barbers

Okanagan Mission Huskies

Osoyoos Rattlers

Prince George Polars’ Braden Reed. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2021. All Rights Reserved)

PPPPPPPPPP (22)

Pacific Academy Breakers (Surrey)

Pacific Christian Pacers (Victoria)

Pacific Torah Institute Panthers (Vancouver)

Panorama Ridge Thunder (Surrey)

Parkland Panthers (Victoria)

Pemberton Red Devils

Pender Harbour Sakinaws

Penticton Lakers

Peter Skene Ogden Eagles (100 Mile House)

Phil and Jennie Gaglardi Academy Arrows (Comox)

Pinetree Timberwolves (Coquitlam)

Pitt Meadows Marauders

Pleasant Valley TBA (Armstrong)

Point Grey Greyhounds (Vancouver)

Port Hardy Whalers

Port Moody Blues

Prince Charles Bulldogs

Prince George Polars

Prince of Wales Walesmen (Vancouver)

Princess Margaret (Penticton)

Princess Margaret (Surrey)

Princeton (TBA)

Queen Elizabeth’s Jasneet Nijjar (centre). (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetter.ca 2021. All Rights Reserved)

QQQQQQQQQQ (2)

Queen Elizabeth Royals (Surrey)

Queen Margaret’s Royals (Duncan)

Riverside Rapids’ Jessica Parker. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2021. All Rights Reserved)

RRRRRRRRRR (14)

R.C. Palmer Griffins (Richmond)

R.E. Mountain Eagles (Langley)

Regent Christian Academy Royals (Surrey)

Revelstoke Avalanche

Reynolds Roadrunners (Victoria)

Richmond Christian Eagles

Richmond Colts

Rick Hansen Hurricanes (Abbotsford)

Riverside Rapids (Port Coquitlam)

R.A. McMath Wildcats (Richmond)

Robert Bateman Timberwolves

Rockridge Ravens (West Vancouver)

Royal Bay Ravens

Rutland VooDoos

The Similkameen Sparks’ Corbin Marsden. (Photo property of Wilson Wong 2021. All Rights Reserved)

SSSSSSSSSSS (42)

Sa-Hali Sabres (Kamloops)

Salish Wolves (Surrey)

Salmo Falcons

Salmon Arm Golds/Jewels

Samuel Robertson Technical Titans (Maple Ridge)

Sands Scorpions (North Delta)

Sardis Falcons (Chilliwack)

Seaquam Seahawks (North Delta)

Selkirk Storm

Semiahmoo Totems (Surrey)

Sentinel Spartans (West Vancouver)

Seycove Seyhawks (North Vancouver)

Shawnigan Lake Stags

Similkameen Sparks

Sir Alexander Mackenzie Grizzlies (Hagensborg)

Sir Charles Tupper Tigers (Vancouver)

Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs (Vancouver)

Smithers Gryphons

South Delta Sun Devils

South Kamloops Titans

Southern Okanagan Hornets (Oliver)

Southpointe Academy Titans (Delta)

Southridge Storm (Surrey)

Sparwood Spartans

Spectrum Community Thunder (Victoria)

St. Andrew’s Sabres (Victoria)

St. Patrick’s Celtics (Vancouver)

St. Thomas Aquinas Fighting Saints (North Vancouver)

St. Thomas More Collegiate Knights (Burnaby)

St. Ann’s Academy Crusaders (Kamloops)

St. George’s Saints (Vancouver)

St. John Brebeuf Bears (Abbotsford)

St. John’s Eagles (Vancouver)

St. Michael’s University School Blue Jags (Victoria)

Stanley Humphries Coyotes (Castlegar)

Stelly’s Stingers (Victoria)

Steveston-London Sharks (Richmond)

Stratford Hall Sabres (Vancouver)

Sullivan Heights Stars (Surrey)

Summerland Rockets

Surrey Christian Falcons

Sutherland Sabres

Terry Fox guard Ko Takahashi. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2021. All Rights Reserved)

TTTTTTTTTT (7)

Tamanawis Wildcats (Surrey)

Templeton Titans (Vancouver)

Terry Fox Ravens (Port Coquitlam)

Thomas Haney Thunder (Maple Ridge)

Timberline Wolves (Campbell River)

Traditional Learning Academy Warriors (Coquitlam)

Tumbler Ridge Kodiaks

Unity Christian’s Wilton Haan (4) struggles to find hits balance in a battle with the St. John’s Eagles of Vancouver in 2020 B.C. Single-A quarterfinal action. (Photo by Vancouver Sports Pictures 2021. All Rights Reserved)

UUUUUUUUUU (4)

Ucluelet Warriors

Unity Christian Flames (Chilliwack)

University Hill Hawks (Vancouver)

Urban Academy Lions (New Westminster)

Vernon’s Kelsey Watts. (Photo by Wilson Wong 2021. All Rights Reserved)

VVVVVVVVVV (8)

Valemount Timberwolves

Valleyview Vikings (Kamloops)

Vancouver Christian Phoenix

Vancouver College Fighting Irish

Vancouver Technical Talismen

Vernon Christian Royals

Vernon Panthers

Victoria Totems

W.J. Mouat’s Dhivaan Bholgal (left). (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of Varsity Letters 2021. All Rights Reserved)

WWWWWWWWWW (13)

W.J. Mouat Hawks (Abbotsford)

W.L. Seaton Sonics (Vernon)

Walnut Grove Gators (Langley)

Wellington Wildcats (Nanaimo)

West Point Grey Academy Wolves (Vancouver)

West Vancouver Highlanders

Westsyde Whundas (Kamloops)

Westview Wildcats (Maple Ridge)

Whistler Storm

Whistler Waldorf Wolves

White Rock Christian Academy Warriors (Surrey)

Windermere Warriors (Vancouver)

Windsor Dukes (North Vancouver)

Yale Lions’ Marissa Rodde. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2021. All Rights Reserved)

YYYYYYYYYY (2)

Yale Lions (Abbotsford)

York House Tigers (Vancouver)

If you’re reading this story or viewing these photos on any website other than one belonging to a university athletic department, it has been taken without appropriate permission. In these challenging times, true journalism will survive only through your dedicated support and loyalty. VarsityLetters.ca and all of its exclusive content has been created to serve B.C.’s high school and university sports community with hard work, integrity and respect. Feel free to drop us a line any time at howardtsumura@gmail.com.

6 thoughts on “Nicknames, nicknames: We’ve got the nicknames (of almost) every high school in B.C. right here!

  1. Great research Howard.
    Question: Is there any team in the world nicknamed. Towhees. ? Other than Vanier?
    Are there other nicknames in BC that are purely singular?
    Cheers
    Larry

  2. Hey Howard:
    I’ve often wondered like Larry Street if there was another school in North America nicknamed the Towhees. When I played at Vanier, we often joked that sure the Towhee was a sparrow, but it was the toughest sparrow. At the time the mascot looked like a sparrow dribbling a ball. Today Vanier’s mascot looks like a full-fledged eagle on steroids.

  3. Rainmakers without a doubt the best of the bunch . If you’ve been to Prince Rupert you get the reference.
    I was disappointed when they changed the mascot name to Titans from Red Devils / Red Angles at Kamloops Secondary…

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