“Brock doesn’t have a football team”: the words that came out of my friends’ mouths when I said I accepted my offer of admission to the St. Catharines-based university. He was right, we don’t and as a sports fan, I didn’t know what I was going to do at a university with no football. What made it worse was that Brock’s school colour is red – the same as my rival high school back home. I was changing to a colour that I had despised for five years.
Beyond that, as my first year at the school concludes, I’m proud to be a Badger. I’m learning how successful our other athletic programs are, even taking the time to watch some of the baseball games and witnessing the men take home the OUA title. As a baseball fan, I didn’t even know Brock’s program was that strong.
Another set of teams that made me realize how great Brock athletics were are our women’s and men’s wrestling teams, both of whom won the CIS championship a week ago.
The Badgers women’s and men’s wrestling teams both took home the championship in their respective leagues, sweeping the CIS for the second year in a row, making Brock the first school to do so in CIS history. This was the fourth consecutive title for the women and the 15th overall title for the men, now holding the national record.
What made this championship weekend even more impressive, was that the teams clinched the championships prior to Saturday’s gold medal matches. The teams combined for 14 medals, six of which were gold. The women captured four of the six gold, headlined by Jade Parsons, who has won gold in four consecutive years in the 48-kilogram weight.
Carlene Sluberski, Indira Moores, and Jessica Brouillette also finished with gold in their weight classes. The women finished with 54 total points, 16 points more than Calgary, who finished second. Nick Rowe and Andrii Vorontsov won gold for the men, who finished with 66 points (10 more than McMaster, who finished second).
Emily Schaefer was named the women’s ‘Rookie of the Year’ after winning gold in 51 kg. She was the only Badger student to receive an award, however Mary Calder was named ‘Coach of the Year’ for both the men’s and women’s teams.
“We didn’t come focused on winning the team titles, or setting CIS records or any of that, we came here to perform as well as we could in our individual matches, and we knew if we did that, we would have success as a team,” said Calder.
Other medalists for the Badgers were:
- Olivia DiBacco: Bronze in women’s 72 kg
- Sam Jagas: Bronze in men’s 54 kg
- Brian Cowan: Bronze in men’s 57 kg
- Zack Falcioni: Bronze in men’s 61 kg
- Andrew McKenzie: Silver in men’s 68 kg
- Tyler Rowe: Silver in men’s 72 kg
- Matrixx Ferreira: Bronze in men’s 82 kg
- Ignatius Pitt: Fourth in men’s 90 kg
Individually and as a team, Brock’s wrestling teams came home with even more Badger pride. Not only am I more proud of being a Badger today than I was the day I accepted my offer, I’m also overjoyed with our wrestling teams. I’m sure everyone is pleased with them, but no one should be more thrilled than the wrestlers themselves as they competed harder than any other school. Congratulations to everyone for their hard work and for bringing not one, but two titles home to Brock.