It was in July 2012 that I began this blog, the Eagles Insider, and wrote my first post where I talked about joining the Surrey Eagles as the play-by-play broadcaster and Director of Media Relations and my excitement at the new opportunity.
Now, just over a year later, I will not be back with the Eagles for the 2013-2014 season as I will take up a new position as one of the play-by-play voices of the Vancouver Giants of the WHL. This is a great chance for me to take my broadcasting career to the next level, and I'd like to thank Ron Toigo and the Giants ownership group for granting me this opportunity. I'm incredibly excited to make the jump to the "dub" for this coming season.
Having said that, my year in Surrey with the Eagles will be one that I will never forget. I was welcomed with open arms into the organization by everyone involved, and we had a phenomenal season both on and off the ice. Experiencing a run to the Royal Bank Cup Semi-Final and having the chance to broadcast some of the most exciting Junior A games in the country was an honour and a privilige.
I want to thank Chuck Westgard, the Eagles ownership group and Ronnie Paterson for giving me the opportunity to be a part of an unbelieveable season with the team. I'd also like to thank the front office staff, particularly Sharon Anderson and Andrew Delbaere, who helped me out a lot while I got my feet under me in the early stages of the season and brought a great passion and enthusiasm to the job. I also really enjoyed working with Garrett and Damon James. These two guys are phenomenal photographers who are going places.
On the hockey side of things, it was a pleasure to work with Matt Erhart, Peter Schaefer, Brad Tobin, Jim Babcock, Ian Groskleg, Ian Mason, Nick Johnston and many others that I'm sure I've forgotten to mention, and I have many fond memories of my time at the SSA. As for the players on the team, I couldn't have asked for a greater group of young men to spend a season covering, both on the ice and off the ice. While the team achieved some incredible things, the players were always accommodating in their dealings with me, and I really enjoyed every minute I spent with the team.
At the league level, I want to thank John Grisdale, Trevor Alto and Brent Mutis for the hard work they put in to make this league as special as it is, and while I won't name them all individually, the 15 other play-by-play men across the league are all phenomenal broadcasters and great people. Thanks for letting me be a part of the fraternity.
And last but not least, I need to mention the fans, volunteers and listeners/viewers/readers in Surrey. There are some incredible people who have incredible passion for this team, whether it be the season ticket holders who come and cheer at every game or the volunteers that help make gamenights run smoothly or the people who can't be there in person but tune-in to the broadcasts and read the post-game reports. All of you make this hockey team what it is, and I feel incredibly honoured to have been allowed into your community this past year.
I look forward to following the 2013-2014 edition of the Eagles along with all of you.