The 2015-16 Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) wrestling season has been underway for three weeks. For the Brock Badgers, a program that is known to be one of the best in Canada, is proving to be at the top once again. Some have even put the Badgers program in the boat of being one of the best university programs in North America. The Badgers have consistently been a top-ranked team in CIS wrestling every year.
For nine seasons, the program has been run by head coach Marty Calder, who is also in his 20th year with the Badgers program. Calder’s success in the past has been a major reason to why university wrestlers choose Brock over any other Canadian school. Calder was an Olympic wrestler, and now as a coach has been named CIS coach of the year five times on the men’s side, and five times on the women’s side.
This year, Calder and his teams have already participated in five tournaments, and continue to dominate. The season got started on Oct. 31 with the Concordia Open, and have since been part of: SFU Clansmen (British Columbia), the McMaster Open, Bill Farrell International (New York) and the latest York Open.
At the Concordia Open, the Badgers saw Jessica Macdonald capture gold in the 51kg division, while Farantina Gatta (51kg), Jade Parsons (55kg), Indira Moores (63kg) and Jessica Brouillette (67kg) came home with silver. Mackenizie Smallwood helped sweep the 51kg division for the Badgers as she took home bronze, as did Carmella Fleurant (67kg).
Over on the men’s side, Alex Moher (57kg), Luke Roberts (68kg), CJ Hudson (72kg) and Mattrix Ferreira all took the top spot with a gold medal. Chris MacIssac (61kg) and Clayton Pye (82kg) won silver and Kingston Wong (57kg) won a bronze medal.
At the SFU Clansmen, Jevon Balfour (74kg) won gold, going a strong 4-0 during the tournament. Michelle Fazzari’s (58kg) 3-0 record won her a gold medal. Olivia Di Bacco (67kg) came through with a silver medal.
Then heading down the QEW, the Badgers men and women both finished first at the McMaster Open. Smallwood (51kg), a first year wrestler, won gold, while Raquel Reid stood beside Smallwood with a silver medal in the same division. Emily Schaefer (59kg) and Fleurant (67kg) also won silver. Gatta (48kg), Carlene Sluberski (59kg) and Moores (63kg) all won bronze.
For the men, McIsaac (61kg) and Tyler Rowe (72kg) won gold for their divisions. Sam Jagas (57kg), Brian Cowan (61kg) and Roberts (72kg) were awarded a silver. Mitch Winchester (61kg), Matt Jagas (68kg) and Pye (82kg) finished with a bronze.
In New York for the Bill Farrell International, the Badgers saw Fazzari win the only gold for the team. Jessica MacDonald would win the only other medal for the Badgers, as she had to pull out in the final match, leaving herself with a silver medal.
The women and men will now prepare for the Canadian wrestling team trials being held at Sherwood Park, Alberta on Dec. 4. It’ll be the team’s last event before the New Year, as they’ll open the 2016 year with the Brock Open on Jan. 9.