Balzer flying high with Surrey Eagles

2010 MEI grad set to call his first BCHL game on Friday

Kyle Balzer rocks the mic during his days as a communications intern for the Abbotsford Heat in 2013.

It might be hockey night in Surrey but it’ll have a lot of Abbotsford flavour.

Aspiring broadcast journalist Kyle Balzer signed on the dotted line to be the new play-by-play broadcaster of the BCHL’s Surrey Eagles earlier this summer and he’s ready for Friday’s start of the season after a wealth of experience covering Abbotsford sports.

The 2010 MEI grad had been told for years that he had a voice for radio and shortly after graduating he acted upon it.

“I guess you could say I’ve always liked having a microphone in front of me,” he said. “Once I realized that I still wanted to be involved in sports because I didn’t make a lot of teams, I knew that I could use this skill I discovered and apply it to a career in broadcasting.”

Balzer took several media and communications courses at UFV and eventually hooked up with the Cascade student newspaper and the campus radio station. His work achieved high praise, as he won the 2014 National Campus and Community Radio Association Award for Best Sports Program with co-hosts Aaron Levy and Tyler Dyck.

“UFV as a whole helped me learn how to work in the business aspect of sports broadcasting,” he said. “I recommend UFV for everyone because they do provide the same opportunities as any other big-name school would offer.”

He also scored a position as communications intern for the Abbotsford Heat in 2013. He worked alongside the team’s play-by-play broadcaster compiling stat packages, crafting media releases and helping out on game day.

“The greatest lesson I learned with the Heat is to take any opportunity that comes my way and to make it my own,” he said.

Balzer graduates from the broadcast and online journalism program at BCIT next June, and said the commute from Abbotsford to Burnaby is long but it’s been worth it.

“BCIT has certainly provided a lot of opportunity for me to improve and expand my horizons as a broadcast journalist,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what program you’re in; the school allows everyone to apply their skills and their talents to a real-world scenario.”

His new role with the Eagles sees him cover every home game in South Surrey, with the potential to follow the team on the road if his schedule allows it.

“I’m very excited to call my first-ever BCHL season with one of the most recognized franchises in the league,” he said. “Knowing that I could be calling players that could play in college or the NHL one of these days is incredible. I’m still trying to let it sink in, but once I put on that headset, I’ll definitely be ready to be the best that I can be.”

Local hockey fans might recognize Balzer from his time as the PA announcer for the Abbotsford Pilots. His brother Joel Balzer captains the team this year. He said the strong Abbotsford sports community helped develop his passion for sports.

“I’m just humbled to be where I am right now with the support of my family and friends,” he said. “I always tell people I’m from Abbotsford because I’ve been privileged to grow up here and be a part of the sports community for as long as I have been.”

Balzer kicks off his BCHL run on Friday when the Eagles host the Langley Rivermen. For more information on the team, visit surreyeagles.ca.

Just Posted

UFV launches school of creative arts

New school combines theatre and visual arts

Pints n’ Pitches coming to Abbotsford

Free Oct. 16 event brings together people to foster potential business ventures

BC Children’s virtual care sites open at Abbotsford and Chilliwack hospitals

Provincial initiative allows pediatric patients to see health specialists through video

McKenzie Road shut down by police for hours last night due to mental health incident

People reportedly heard police negotiating with individual to come outside house

Historian Keith Carlson appointed Canada Research Chair at UFV

Carlson is an ethno-historian with a strong connection to the Sto:lo people in Chilliwack

VIDEO: Langley woman’s security camera records its own theft

Langley family discovers early morning grab was recorded

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Vancouver Giants wrap up prairie road swing with a 4-2 win over Regina

Milos Roman paced the Langley-based Giants with two goals, goaltender David Tendeck made 34 saves

Pearson nets shootout winner as Canucks clip Flyers 3-2

Vancouver picks up second straight home win

Map on Elections Canada website sends Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters to landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

Man arrested in fatal stabbing at Surrey gas station

Victim pronounced deceased at the scene; RCMP cordon off area

Most Read