Over the last 24 years Canadian university wrestling has been dominated by one school on both the men and women’s side. It started with Richard DesChatelets as the head coach for Brock’s program and later passed over to Marty Calder (who began his coaching career with Brock as an assistant).
Overall, the 2015-16 season is Calder’s 20th with the Badgers.
Under DesChatelets and Calder the Brock Men’s Wrestling program has won a total of 17 OUA championships and 15 CIS championships. The Women’s division did not get started until 1997-98, but from there the Brock women have won 14 OUA championships and five CIS championships (four straight since the 2011-12 season).
“I’m not a records guy,” said Calder, when asked to reflect on his 20th season. “To me it’s about, how do we get the next championship?”
For Calder and the Badgers, the next championship may not be far behind. Both the men and women are ranked number one nationally in the CIS. It is clear the Badgers wrestling program is the best in Canada and some people I have spoken to also believe they are a top five program in North America.
“Some people say we make our wrestlers work too hard, so don’t go to Brock,” said Calder. “I take that as more of a compliment.”
The work ethic the coaches put on their wrestlers at Brock has made the program successful in Canadian university wrestling, on the international stage and some wrestlers have even competed at the Olympics.
For the Badgers, they participated in their final tournament in the OUA this past weekend at the Western Open. It was their final preparation before the OUA championships and CIS championships – which will be held at Brock on Feb. 26 and 27. The OUA championships will be held in Sault Ste. Marie on Feb. 13.
“The [Western Open] is about preparing ourselves for the OUA championship,” said Calder.
Here is a list of results from the tournaments Brock wrestling participated in this season:
Concordia Open: five gold medals
SFU Clansmen: two golds
McMaster Open: Both men and women finish first
Bill Farrell International: one gold, one silver
Greater Toronto Open: Both men and women finish first
Brock Open: Both men and women finish first
Guelph Open: Won seven medals
Western Open: Women win gold and men win silver
At the Western Open, the women came home with six individual medals on pace to winning a team gold. Farrantina Gatta (48kg), Indira Moores (63kg), Jessica Brouilette (67kg) and Olivia Di Bacco (72kg) won gold. Carlene Sluberski (59kg) and Michelle Fazzari (63kg) were able to bring home silvers.
Over on the men’s side Jevon Balfour (82kg) and Alex Moher (57kg) brought home gold in their weight class. Luke Roberts (72kg) won bronze. Joey Martin (61kg) and Zack Falcoini (65kg) just missed out on medaling as they finished fourth in their weight class.
The focus now shifts to what they have been working for all year long. It’s been a terrific run for the wrestling program at Brock and adding to their championship total is likely heading into the championship weekends. Though, there are no guarantees the wrestling team is still in a good place. Confidence is high for all the wrestlers and the coach’s believe they can come out on top again.