Brock University hosted the 2019 Brock Open this past weekend, where the hometown Badgers dominated the mats from start to finish. For the Badgers program and long-time coach Marty Calder, this is nothing new, as the most successful athletic program in school history showed yet again why they are ranked number one in the country.
On the women’s side, the Badgers saw Skylar Grote, Darrion Sterling and Shauna Keubeck win their respective weight classes, while Hannah Taylor, Emily Schaefer and Nicole French finished second. Jade Parsons of the Brock Wrestling Club also won her respective weight class.
As a team, the Badgers women finished in first place with a score of 44; 20 points higher than the second place team.
On the men’s side, Garette Saunders, Ligrit Sadiku, Chris McIsaac, Ty Bridgewater, Clayton Pye and Calvin Duam finished atop their respective weight class, while Richard Deschatelets Jr., Juwan Burgess, Joe Martin and Jevon Balfour placed second. Alex Moher and Nick Rowe of the Brock Wrestling Club also won their respective weight classes.
Between the men’s varsity squad and the Brock Wrestling Club, a Brock representative won eight out of the 10 weight classes that featured a Badger wrestler. As a team, the Badgers ran away with a grand total of 65 points, over 35 points higher than the second place Guelph team. The Brock Wrestling Club finished third with 24 points.
Even though this was the first major event of the new year, the Badgers have just three weeks until the OUA Championship begins in Guelph. Shortly after that is the USports Championship in Calgary, before wrapping up the year in late March in Saskatoon at the 2019 Canadian National Championship.
There is a lot left to accomplish this season, but none of it is new to Coach Calder and his program. While the expectations are as sky-high as always, Calder says he doesn’t look at this season as ‘championship or bust.’
“I’ll tell you if we lose whether I think it’s a bust,” he said jokingly.
While the pressure of winning a national championship year after year is always present when part of a dynastic program, Calder is very understanding of the difficulties of being a student-athlete, as he was once in his athletes’ shoes.
“Things get tough as a student-athlete, and the demands of schoolwork and all that stuff, and just being a young kid in general,” Calder said.
It is his understanding of his athletes’ lives and schedules that makes Calder’s program here at Brock stand out from all the others.
One thing is crystal clear when looking at the Badgers wrestling program this year: if somebody wants that national championship, they’re going to have to take it from Brock.
The Badgers women’s program has won 17 of the last 20 OUA Championships dating back to 1999 — including the last four, and have captured seven consecutive USports banners. On the men’s side, they’ve won three straight OUA Championships and five consecutive USports titles.
The Badgers next event is the Guelph Open, hosted by the Guelph Gryphons on Jan. 20.