Meet The Team

Passion for the game is what connects all HTN team members. Check out the bios below to learn more about our contributors and their sports passions!

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Alex Zamin: Football, Basketball and College Sports

Alex is an avid fan of almost all sports, supporter of the hottest takes, exposer of the coldest ones. Alex cheers for the hometown team and requires an explanation on your reasoning to cheer for the Patriots, Yankees, Red Sox, Warriors, Crimson Tide, etc. if you're not from those respective cities or gambling on them

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Ben Jackson: Mixed Martial Arts, College Sports and Football

Ben is a Waterloo, Ontario native in his fourth-year at the University of Waterloo where he studies Accounting and Financial Management in pursuit of his CPA designation. Ben has hosted multiple sports podcasts with other HTN members in the past, and has sports writing experience as a Sports Staff Reporter for the University of Waterloo’s Imprint. He has a passion for sports analytics and statistics and hopes to share these passions with HTN readers and listeners. Focusing on MMA for HTN, Ben’s favourite martial artists include Conor McGregor, Jon Jones, Stephen Thompson and Rory MacDonald. When he’s not watching the game, Ben spends his time trying local craft beer, playing his ukulele, and in the winter, counting down the days until golf season.

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Coty Van de Byl: Football, Soccer and Fantasy Sports

Hailing from Woodstock, Ontario, Coty is a die-hard sports fan and avid sports bettor supporting Manchester United as well as the Chicago Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and Cubs. He uses his prior knowledge and athletic experience through both playing and officiating competitive soccer, in addition to playing football, to pick apart teams’ skill levels and overall strategies. He loves to analyze teams down to the individual player and discuss theoretical possibilities in the world of sports. Coty values team history and always loves an underdog unless it is against his team. Coty is currently pursuing his CPA designation at the University of Waterloo through the Accounting and Financial Management program. In his spare time, Coty enjoys rock/metal music, sitcoms, casino games, yard games, and attempting to improve his golf game.

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Cristian Dragan: Soccer and Tennis

Cristian is from Kitchener, Ontario, and is currently studying business and computer science at Wilfrid Laurier University. Sports have always been a major part of Cristian’s life. He is a passionate soccer follower, having not missed a Real Madrid game in years. He also enjoys playing and watching tennis. Cristian has played both volleyball and tennis at high school and club level. Apart from sports, Cristian enjoys playing chess and learning to play the guitar in his free time.

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Isaac Carmichael: Hockey and Baseball

A Brantford, Ontario native, Isaac in currently undergoing his fourth-year at the University of Waterloo in the School of Accounting and Finance. Apart from his studies, Isaac is a sports aficionado who is passionate in sports analytics, using advanced statistics and implementing a “Moneyball” scheme into his player and team analysis. Using these analytics and applying them to predictive algorithms, Isaac has found success in the betting world through his ability in identifying valuable underdogs.

Isaac loves playing hockey, playing rep for the Brantford 99ers in his childhood. He is heavily invested in the NHL, AHL, OHL and MLB, supporting the Calgary Flames, Stockton Heat, Hamilton Bulldogs and Toronto Blue Jays respectively. Apart from sports, Isaac likes to enjoy the Algonquin outdoors, playing on his drums and watching comedy TV shows.

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Mac Turchan: Basketball and Tennis

Hailing from nearby Conestogo, Ontario, Mac is a fourth year International Business student at Wilfrid Laurier University. His work at Laurier allows him to keep a pulse on the local sports scene and includes lead coverage for the school's women's soccer and men's basketball teams along with broadcasting for several other OUA teams and serving as the President for the recreational Laurier Tennis Club. Well versed in many sports, Mac isn't afraid to step out into the fringes of the sporting world and that will be reflected in his content on Hot Takes Network. When Mac isn't consumed by sports, you will probably find him consuming a cold beer while plotting his escape from the Canadian winter.

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Matthew Watson: Hockey, Baseball and Football

Matthew hails from Mississauga, Ontario and has been a sports junkie from day one as an athlete, an official, and a tournament organizer; but above all he considers himself a fan. An enthusiastic supporter of the Leafs, Jays, Raptors and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (there’s a story that behind that one), Matthew loves nothing more than to share sports stories, analysis and wild conspiracy theories about upcoming seasons.

Currently studying at the University of Waterloo, Matthew is pursuing his CPA designation, but knows that his life will one day include becoming a youth baseball coach and explaining to the umpires again and again that the strike zone is measured where the ball crosses the plane of the plate and not where it enters the catcher’s glove. When he’s not watching or writing about his favourite sports, you can find Matthew reading a fantasy novel, playing Hearthstone, browsing Netflix or updating one of his many fantasy sports teams.

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Varun Krishnammagaru: Baseball, Basketball and Football

Varun hails from Kitchener, Ontario, and grew up playing a multitude of sports, but his passion has always been baseball. He played AAA for the Kitchener Panthers and elite baseball for the OIBA Prospects, before moving on to play for the Kitchener Jr Panthers. He currently plays for the Waterloo Warriors Varsity Baseball Team as a P/OF and in the TriCities Baseball League over the summer as a P/SS. Varun also coaches the 13U Tri City Giants Elite Baseball Team in his spare time, while keeping active in other sports such as basketball, golf, hockey, football, tennis, and cricket.

Varun currently studies at the University of Waterloo in the Accounting and Financial Management Program and is pursuing his CPA designation. He is an avid sports fan, and has been his entire life. His favourite teams are the Toronto Raptors, Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Blue Jays, and the New England Patriots, and he watches and follows each of them vigorously. He loves to grab a cold one with friends when he has spare time, and you can always catch him watching one of the Big 4 North American sports, while preaching in what in his opinion is the hottest take he’s ever come up with: “Russell Westbrook is an influencer, not a game changer.”



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Cian Wright - Game, Set, Slice: Tennis

Originally from County Clare on the west coast of Ireland, Cian loves all things tennis.  After living internationally for half of his life, tennis has always remained a constant for Cian no matter where he may be. He currently lives in Amsterdam, where he studies International Business. When he is not travelling the world, chilling with friends or attending ATP tour events, Cian spends his time running Game, Set, Slice – an Instagram tennis page focused on ‘slicing’ weekly tennis news into short and fun updates. Cian started Game, Set, Slice in early 2019.