BARRIE, Ontario — A Georgian Grizzlies’ athlete has been recognized as one of the top players in his sport.
The Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) named Jed Bricknell Co-Player of the Year in men’s rugby.
Bricknell, who plays second row, shares the award with St. Lawrence Surge Travis Zelinksi.
“I was blown away by that to be honest,” Bricknell said. “To have people look at me as a leader of the team, I feel so honoured of that. It’s crazy, because I never thought I would see my name at the top of an article.”
Finishing his third season on the team, Bricknell led the Grizzlies in both tackles and steals.
“Jed is the kind of guy we want on our team and I think everybody would want him,” said John Daggett, the team’s head coach. “He’s quiet, he’s confident and works incredibly hard. He emulates what we are looking for at Georgian College. He comes in everyday, works really hard, is a good person and makes everyone around him better.”
What’s funny, Daggett said, is when Bricknell first tried out with the team years ago, the coaching staff was thinking about cutting him – unsure on where he would fit in with the team.
“One of the coaches at the time said, ‘I think we should take a chance on him, I see something in him,’” Daggett said. “Man, oh man, are we ever happy we did. He has proven himself time and time again what a great rugby player he is and what a great person he is.”
Bricknell is someone who takes pride in his defensive game and said he and his teammates made defence a priority this season. The team gave up just 29 points in four regular season games – the lowest among all league teams.
The Grizzlies earned a silver medal this season after falling to the Surge 13-7 in the OCAA championship game on Nov. 13.
It was the team’s and Bricknell’s third straight season finishing in second place.
“It doesn’t get easier, I’ll tell you that much,” Bricknell said. “It was pretty emotional for us. For a lot of guys, this is their last year and we really wanted to win, especially for those players. To be short by only six points, it hurt a lot.”
Bricknell is studying to become a paramedic and plans on playing with the Grizzlies next season. Like years past, he has one goal in mind.
“It’s going to be a really intense season. I don’t want a silver, the only thing I want is gold,” Bricknell said.
Bricknell isn’t the only Grizzly to be honoured for their outstanding play in 2021. James Robb-Kennedy was named OCAA’s men’s rugby Rookie of the Year.
Robb-Kennedy, Bricknell, Daniel Martyn and Donovan Jacko were all named OCAA All-Stars.
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