If there is one thing that Brock Sports is known for, it is a world class wrestling program. Student athletes from all corners of the nation flock to Brock and jump at the opportunity to become a Badger because of its polished reputation as a wrestling powerhouse. Not only is Brock ranked number one in U Sports for both men and women’s wrestling, but the women have won the national championship five years in a row and the men have done so three years in a row. No other school has produced as many alumni who go on to compete in the Olympics and no other team in Canada is ranked near Brock in North American standings.
The Brock Press sat down with Jessica Brouillette, an accomplished fourth year student athlete who has competed for Brock since she began her university tenure back in 2013.
Brouillette, like so many current members of Brock’s wrestling team, came to Brock mostly for the program.
“My goal is to one day go to the Olympics and I knew that going to Brock would help me get there,” said Brouillette, the fourth year sociology student who has contributed to the Badger’s wrestling dynasty by competing at three CIS championships. “I think a lot about visualizing my technique before a match and what I want to do when I get there so I don’t freeze and give my opponent a chance to set up. I would say my style is offensive, I don’t like to sit back and wait for the other person. It helps me because I’m comfortable shooting at legs and going over after takedowns but sometimes it’s necessary to be a little defensive so it goes both ways.”
Throughout these three prestigious tournaments, Brouillette has brought home two gold medals and one silver in the 63 kilogram weight class on the national stage and aided Brock Women’s wrestling in capturing numerous championship titles.
Brouillette says there is one main reason why Brock has remained a dominant force for so long.
“The coaching staff [is great]. They have developed the team over a long period of time. As new wrestlers come in, they get to train with the older more experienced team members and coaches who pass on their [expertise].”
The Men’s and Women’s head coach, Marty Calder, has been with Badgers since 1994. Being able to have such a long term impact, Calder has been able to build the Badgers into a formidable wrestling team and a wildly successful program.
Every weekend the Badgers participate in open tournaments in order to get their wrestlers qualified for the larger OUA tournament held at the end of January. Depending on how wrestlers perform at OUA’s will determine whether they can compete in the national tournament which will be held in Winnipeg this year. Brouillette says that the wrestling team spends Mondays reflecting on their performance in the opens and what they need to work on in the following week. The team undergoes a training camp at the end of the Christmas break to get prepared and focused for the OUA tournament.
“We have great chemistry, everyone is so competitive to give each other good go’s at practice. It helps you and your teammates learn. We’re all serious and focused but we’re all good friends and I think that really makes a difference,” said Brouillette. The biggest rivals for the Men’s team will be McMaster as they are currently ranked second in U Sports and took second in last year’s CIS tournament. The women will have to look out for Calgary for similar reasons. Brouillette is optimistic that Brock has a solid shot to bring home both Men’s and Women’s national titles once again despite these rivalries.
“We lost two or three girls that were really good and got us a lot of wins for our team,” Brouillette said. “But we have such talented rookies coming up so I think we’re going to do really well this season.” Two notable rookies who are sure to be impact athletes for the Badgers are Hannah Taylor and Shauna Kuebeck.