Over the course of multiple strong seasons, head coach Justin Kennedy for the Brock men’s lacrosse team has been able to recruit some of the best varsity talent across Canada. This has allowed the team to consistently make the playoffs every year and compete for a championship. Brandon Slade is one of such players that has become a successful addition to the team.
The men’s lacrosse team finished their 2015 season strong with a record of 9-3 in the CUFLA as they went onto the semi-finals in an effort to make it to the championship game to win the Baggataway Cup. The Badgers would lose to McGill University in a close semi-final game with a final score of 7-5.
Slade was recognized for his tremendous effort he put into this team during both the regular season and post-season. Slade finished the season with 27 goals, 36 assists and a total of 63 points.
Growing up in Orangeville, Ontario Slade’s family has a long history in lacrosse.
“My mother’s side of the family had a passion for lacrosse, which then got passed down to me,” said Slade. “I was enrolled into lacrosse at the age of four and continued to play. I played for the Orangeville Northmen throughout my whole career, and started off my junior career with Orangeville Jr. B Northmen, playing two years for them, while finishing my last three junior years with the Orangeville Jr. A Northmen.”
With Slade’s long career in lacrosse with both Jr. B, Jr. A and now CUFLA, it is without a doubt that he has turned some of the scouts heads with his excellent performance. This past year, Slade was eligible to be drafted into the National Lacrosse League (NLL) but unfortunately was not selected. But, this hasn’t stopped Slade as he mentioned that, “the door is still not closed and I am looking forward to taking advantage of my opportunities as they arrive.
During the Baggataway Championship, the Badgers took on Trent University in the quarterfinals. During the game there was a power outage that postponed the game to an early morning game the following day. The Badgers successfully beat Trent by a score of 10-9 and moved on to play McGill that same day.
Fatigue seemed to play a factor for the Badgers, who led the league in scoring, but struggled to do so against McGill. “The Trent game being postponed definitely had a factor on our performance as we could have been more fatigued than McGill,” said Slade. “But I don’t believe that it affected the outcome. McGill was a good squad with a lot of experience, which resulted in a hard fought battle that could have went either way.”
Being the captain of the Badger team, Slade had to show that he can keep calm under pressure and rise to the occasion. Slade had done exactly that when it came to the playoffs. Slade embodies the idea of keeping calm and composed during important playoff games.
“I [try] to just keep my normal routine and not focus too hard on the fact that it was the playoffs,” said Slade. “I do understand the importance of playoffs, but I try not to over think the situation and just play our game.”
The youth on the Badgers team has been mentioned many times before and as captain of the team, Slade had to play part in mentoring the younger players. “With the help of the other leaders, we tried to show the younger players what Brock lacrosse is really about,” said Slade. “It is about keeping on the tradition and building a family. They seemed to catch on fairly quick, which allowed us to come together and be successful.”
Having a major role on such a successful program, Slade also has to show the younger players how important it is to balance school and lacrosse. “Being a student-athlete definitely makes it hard to balance academics and lacrosse,” said Slade. “To be successful I need to be dedicated and manage my time wisely. Fortunately, lacrosse is only a two-month season so it does not conflict with academics for a long period of time.”
With a major in Kinesiology, Slade was asked what he plans to do with both his lacrosse career and working career. “As of right now, I am unsure of what I exactly want to do after I graduate from Brock,” said Slade. “I am taking BSc Kinesiology and I am looking to further that education after I graduate my undergrad.”
Overall, Slade has had many accomplishments in his lacrosse career with Brock, and will be back next year to continue the success. Slade will be in his fourth year and the Badgers lacrosse team will certainly have much more experience as they look to ride further into the CUFLA playoffs.
Assistant Sports Editor