Andrew Harris is head of football operations with the VI Raiders

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PQBeat podcasts are produced by the Black Press Media team at the Parksville Qualicum Beach News on Vancouver Island.
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Host Peter McCully welcomes Andrew Harris to the PQBeat podcast.

Harris started his football career playing for the Vancouver Island Raiders of the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) in 2005. In 2006, 2008 and 2009 the Raiders won 3 National Championships.

McCully asked Harris how the experience shaped him as a player moving forward to the CFL.

‘Junior Nanaimo definitely was instrumental in my life as a man in my football career. My network, my overall friend group I have now, some of my best friends I have to date are guys I played junior throughout those five years. Ultimately, I think it was an amazing experience because we had guys from all over Canada coming to Nanaimo and we're all from different walks of life. We're all on that same path. ‘We had a really tight-knit group and the guys were really close and everyone became a brotherhood, became a family, and that was from the top to the bottom.’

Harris was drafted in the 2009 CFL Draft by the BC Lions, where he played from 2010 to 2015. During his time with the Lions, Harris established himself as one of the league's top running backs, earning three CFL All-Star honors and winning the Most Outstanding Canadian award in 2011.

Harris has announced this will be his final season as running back with the Toronto Argonauts as he looks forward to his new role with the VI Raiders.

Harris was asked what he hopes to bring to the team on the field and off.

‘The biggest thing for me is making sure that these young men that are coming to play for us. If it's one year or five years that they're leaving the team with a better head on their shoulders, a better vision, are they more confident in their lives, just better men in society. I want to make sure we're grooming well-rounded young men to attack their next stage of life and create amazing memories and experiences while they're here with us.’

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