The Brock University Badgers have made a trip to the CUFLA Baggataway Cup Finals the last three consecutive years including bringing home the hardware back to St.Catharines in 2009.
For most programs that would be considered successful, but for Coach Justin Kennedy and the 18 time Canadian Champion Badgers it is disappointing. â€œWe take a different approach here at Brock Lacrosseâ€ said Coach Kennedy. â€œWhen the team was asked about their long term goals, all the answers were the same, Baggataway.â€
The Badgers closed out their training camp last weekend(September 1st & 2nd) and begin to prepare for the 2013 season opener in St.Catharines against rival Guelph Gryphons on September 9th at 2:00PM EST.
The Badgers have a strong group of returning players who will play a vital role in the success for BU in 2012.
The Brock Defenders graduated a few key members of the Brock defensive crew but a solid core remains on the back end for the Badgers. Senior Mike Lum Walker and Sophomore Brad Baker look to quarterback the defense this upcoming season. Buffalo Bandits D-Man Steve Priolo has moved from midfield to the back end to add size for the BU defense.
The entire attack core return to field this season while also being joined by a few new faces.
Coach Kennedy hopes Senior Jordan Weedmark and sophomore Greg Davidson can continue to fill the net for the Badgers. Carleton Place native Weedmark lead the Badgers in scoring with 22 goals, 15 assists for 37 points. Davidson looks to build off an impressive freshmen campaign where he found the back of the net 22 times and added 9 helpers for 31 points.
Kyle Davis is also coming off a hot season after posting 13 goals, 13 assists for 26 points. Davis also played a large role in the playoff run for the Badgers posting 14 points in 4 games.
Joining the BU attackmen is Canisius Golden Griffin Alumni Travis Gibbons. The Owen Sound Native posted 26 goals, 9 assists for 35 points in his Senior year in the 2012 NCAA DI season. Gibbons also lead the MAAC in man-up tallies with 13. Gibbons will be a major boost to the offense and provide a different dimension to the BU offense.
Senior Dustin Dunn will not only be the offensive threat from the middle of the field but will also be a integral leader on and off the field. â€¨â€œBeing one of the older guys on the team I definitely want to be a leader and a role model for the younger guysâ€ said the Peterborough native. â€œItâ€™s the small things on and off the field that young guys look up to and as veterans we understand that and the younger guys are buying to everything thats going on. Brock is a family from top to bottom and were preparing ourselves to get the cup back to where it belongs.â€
Super Senior Kyle Kropman believes that Dunnâ€™s leadership has played an important role of the team in the past four years. â€œThe impact Dunner has on this team almost needs to be witnessed rather than explainedâ€ said the Ajax native.
Kropman also believes that his leadership is not the only thing that needs to be observed. â€œI have been saying for years now that he is one of, if not the most dominant, well rounded players in CUFLA. He’s got the power to take control of any game and makes everyone around him better. Its been a great experience having him as a teammate for 4 years now.â€
Kropman may not be the offensive force that Dunn will be for the Badgers, but Kropman looks to continue his dominance at the X as a faceoff specialist. As it is Kropmanâ€™s fifth season as a Badger, he looks to use his experience to become a leader in the 2012 campaign.
â€œHaving been around this program for so long you begin to learn how things go at BU and can’t help but feel like you have a duty to be a ‘team- first’ kinda guyâ€ said the face-off specialist. â€œWe have had some great leaders in the past and now as a veteran it is important to lead by example.â€
Another veteran looking to have a big season for BU is Goaltender Ian Duffy. The Senior netminder has been given the opportunity to backstop the Badgers in their quest for the Baggataway Cup. â€œPersonally this is the most excited I’ve ever been going into a season here at Brockâ€ said Duffy. â€œIf I execute on the field and work hard in practice I think I have an opportunity to really contribute this year. As a fourth year guy who has played a lot of different roles on this team, from being a back up to starting in the national championship. I think my experience is the best way I can help this team.â€
Due to the fact the Ajax tender has been in numerous situations through out his CUFLA career, it has allowed him to grow as a player and a teammate. â€œThere is a tradition of great goalies here at Brock so I’ve learned from some very good ones over my 4 years which has made me betterâ€ said Duffy. â€œWith that comes some pressure but it is important for me to have a calming presence out there and quarterback the defense.â€
Duffy will not only bring hard work and experience to the field but his quick stick and pin point accuracy on the clear will help support the Badgers back end of the field.
Winning has always been the only option for the Brock Badgers and this year is no different. A core group of returning vets, incoming talent and hunger for redemption is the perfect recipe for a championship team. The Brock Badgers are expecting to make their team motto of â€œCup Comes Homeâ€ true once again.
2012 BU Lacrosse Schedule:
Sep 9, 2012 Guelph * 2:00 PM
Sep 15, 2012 Toronto * 2:00 PM
Sep 16, 2012 McGill 12:00 PM
Sep 23, 2012 Laurier * 2:00 PM
Sep 26, 2012 at McMaster * 8:30 PM
Sep 29, 2012 Western * 2:00 PM
Oct 6, 2012 Laurentian * 2:00 PM
Oct 7, 2012 Laurentian * 12:00 PM
Oct 10, 2012 at Laurier * 6:00 PM
Oct 13, 2012 McMaster * 2:00 PM
Oct 14, 2012 at Toronto * 6:30 PM
Oct 19, 2012 at Western * 7:30 PM
Oct 20, 2012 at Guelph * 2:00 PM
Home games in bold.
* = Conference games.