After a survey of the league’s play-by-play broadcasters, Graham Turnbull – the voice of the Vernon Vipers – has been chosen as the 2018 BCHL broadcaster of the year.
The BCHL’s 17 play-by-play voices from last season each weighed in with a vote with broadcast skill, professionalism and work outside the booth as criteria. Seven different broadcasters received votes in the survey.
With six BCHL seasons on his resume, five with Vernon and one season with the Merritt Centennials, this is the first BCHL broadcaster award for Turnbull. His play-by-play this past season could be heard on air at 107.5 Beach FM as well as online via the team’s free audio broadcasts and BCHL pay-per-view on HockeyTV. He also writes content to the team’s website (vipers.bc.ca) and their social media (@vernonvipers on Twitter).
“The league has so many fantastic broadcasters so to take this honour, it makes it very special because you realize that the people you work with on a regular basis think highly of you,” said Turnbull, a 32-year-old father of two.
Turnbull will be back in the broadcast booth for the Vipers this coming season, his sixth with the team and seventh in the BCHL. The team has made plans to broadcast all games this upcoming season on Beach FM and Turnbull eagerly anticipates the chance to describe the action in the 2018-19 campaign.
“We (broadcasters) do it because we have a passion for calling hockey games and telling stories but also being around the sport,” said Turnbull. “Not all of us are blessed with the athleticism you need to play the game but we have abilities in other areas that allow us to do our part.
“I still get goosebumps during the national anthem; it’s a passion pursuit for me, no question.”
Last season, Turnbull had the call of each game as the Vipers advanced to the Interior Division semifinals before being defeated by the eventual league champions, the Wenatchee Wild. He was also able to closely watch a pair of Vipers standouts that were selected in June at the NHL Entry Draft in forward Brett Stapley (seventh round to Montreal) and goalie Ty Taylor (seventh round to Tampa Bay).