The Walnut Grove Gators celebrated their B.C. high school senior boys Quad A title for the first the first time in school history in March 2013.

Reporter has covered it all in Langley

The Langley Advance at 85: Troy Landreville has been covering sports for more than two decades.

My formative years with the Advance predate the rise of digital photography, email, Facebook, and Twitter.

I started at the Advance in March 1995 – hard to believe 21 years has passed since I landed a job with this newspaper.

In my role as the Advance’s primary sports reporter over the past two decades-plus, I’ve see Canadian and provincial championships won on Langley soil, teams come and go (remember the Titans? As in the B.C. Titans pro basketball team that played in the International Basketball League from 2008 to ’10? Judging from the fan turnout during games, probably not).

And through the years, the way we cover community sports on a daily basis has changed to reflect rapidly shifting industry trends.

On the topic of change, I’ve seen no fewer than four incarnations of junior A hockey teams.

The Langley Thunder changed their names to the Hornets, who moved to West Kelowna in 2006, and were promptly replaced by the former Chilliwack Chiefs.

In March 2006, the Chiefs announced their intention to relocate to Langley and become the Langley Chiefs starting in the 2006/07 season.

The Chiefs returned to Chilliwack in 2011. In the blink of an eye, the community was introduced to the Langley Rivermen in June 2011.

Just recently, the Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants (who played a few games here in 2010 during the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics) officially announced their move to the Langley Events Centre, bumping the Rivermen out of their home and back to the birthplace of junior hockey in Langley – the George Preston Recreation Centre.

(Story continues below photo)

PHOTO: The Langley Hornets were one of the junior A hockey teams in the community. The team left for West Kelowna 10 years ago. (Langley Advance files)


Then there’s the Langley Events Centre, the multi-faceted facility that opened in 2009 and has since been sports hub for reporters and high profile sporting events and championship tournaments.

Among the most recent highlights were the World Junior A Challenge in December 2011 and, just a few months earlier, the arrival of the Olympic flame followed by a pre-Olympic exhibition game involving the Slovakian and Russian womens’ hockey teams.

The Langley Thunder senior A lacrosse team hosted the Mann Cup national championship at the LEC in 2011, the National Lacrosse League’s Vancouver Stealth has played there the past three seasons, and starting in 2011 became the official home of the B.C. high school basketball championships. As well, the LEC hosted the World Financial Group Continental Cup men’s curling competition in January 2012.

On a personal note, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing several Olympic athletes from Langley, future pro baseball players, future NHLers, and other athletes who have gone one to stardom.

Brett has since gone on to become a Major League Baseball infielder, suiting up for the Toronto Blue Jays, Oakland A’s, and Chicago White Sox. Older sister Danielle pitched for the Canadian national women’s softball team and then with the Toyota Shokki in Japan’s elite professional softball league.

Olympians from Langley I’ve met through the years included pistol shooter Dorothy Ludwig and equestrian rider Lauren Hawley-Bennett, the Lawrie siblings (baseball and softball), cyclist Svein Tuft, pentathlete Monica Pinette, equestrian dressage rider Leslie Reid, women’s soccer players Randee Hermus and Katie Thorlakson, swimmer Jake Tapp, and Para-equestrian dressage riders Lauren Barwick and Eleanore Elstone.

And just in the past few years, I, along with the Advance team, have covered the provincial summer, Special Olympics, and seniors games, all hosted by Langley Township.

PHOTO: Troy Landreville


Related stories:

Langley Advance history

Bob Groeneveld: from reporter to editor to columnist

Langley sports coverage over eight decades

Langley then and now

Museum home to many Langley Advance treasures

Publisher Lisa Farquharson grew up in Langley

Langley Advance vintage prices

Editor Roxanne Hooper and storytelling

Longtime residents recall the Langley Advance

Langley’s chamber history mirrors the newspaper

Just Posted

Apple heritage celebrated with Langley’s heritage apples

An annual party, in which families pay homage to the fruit, is on tap for Saturday at Derby Reach.

Fort Langley to hold all-candidates meeting

A forum in the village includes Township of Langley school trustee, council, and mayoral candidates.

Aldergrove Mall site becomes election issue

Letter from developers supporting current Township council sparks flurry of responses

UPDATED: Underground power fault blacks out part of downtown Langley

Electricity was out for a major commercial area.

Clayton’s Salish Secondary seeing community spirit in first weeks

The new high school welcomed its first set of students on Sept. 4

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

VIDEO: B.C. dairy farmer says Trump doesn’t understand the industry

‘They need supply management just as bad as we need to keep it’: sixth generation farmer Devan Toop

VIDEO: Death threat, racist comments spewed over empty seat on B.C. bus

Transit Police are investigating the incident, shared online by fellow passengers on Vancouver bus

Man faces 8 charges after Vancouver carjacking, pepper-spray attacks

Jesse William Swain has been charged with assault with a weapon, robbery and dangerous driving

Sister of plane crash victim that went missing in B.C. starting support network

Tammy Neron wants to help families who are searching for missing people

‘Hello, 911? There’s a horse in my living room’

Sproat Lake firefighters called to ‘rescue’ quarter-horse from Alberni Valley house

Assault charge withdrawn vs. ex-Jays pitcher Roberto Osuna

Former Toronto player agrees to peace bond

UPDATED: Bill Cosby gets 3-10 years in prison for sexual assault

Judge also declared the disgraced comedian a ‘sexually violent predator’

Vancouver Whitecaps release head coach Carl Robinson

Assistant coach Martyn Pert and goalkeeper coach Stewart Kerr are also out

Most Read