Double bronze for Corbett
With six gold medals already in hand and status as the top seed going into the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations wrestling championships, Cassie Corbett was looking forward to a successful meet.
“Things did not go as planned. I won my first two matches and then I put so much pressure on myself that I just broke in one of my matches and I lost,” the Grade 12 student at Blessed Trinity said. “In sport, that is the most upset that I have ever been. I was so mad at myself but I talked it out with my coach because I had to really quickly pick myself up and say, ‘From now on, I have to win every single match if I want a bronze.’ It wasn’t a gold medal but it was my gold medal.”
The 17-year-old Beamsville resident did just that and ended up with a bronze medal in the 67.5 kilogram-division.
“Winning bronze was a little bit of redemption but at the end of the day it was not what I wanted. I firmly believe that if I didn’t lose that match, I could have gotten gold,” she said. “But when I got the bronze medal I thought about it. I had to win four matches in a row to get it. I worked so hard for that bronze medal. It made me realize I need to fix that mental part because that is how I won at the end.”
She followed up her OFSAA bronze medal with another bronze at the national championships in Vancouver, B.C.
“It was so much fun,” she said. “I don’t know why I had so much less pressure on myself at nationals than I did at OFSAA. There was no reason for it. It should have been backwards.”
That lack of pressure wasn’t the case the night before nationals started.
“I was so stressed out, especially because I had the second match of the day in my weight class. It was right away. But that day, I found a way to have fun.”
She went into the event with no expectations.
“I didn’t expect to win a lot. I expected to go and get the experience but then I won my first two matches and I realized I was doing well. When my expectations were a lot lower, it was OK for me to win bronze.”
She lost her semifinal match by a close decision and again rallied to win bronze.
“I knew it was going to be hard but at the end of the day I was going to be proud of myself because I was going to work really hard for it.”
Corbett started wrestling in Grade 9 at Blessed Trinity and in Grade 11 she began training with the Brock Junior Badgers halfway through the season. This year, she has been training at BT, with the junior Badgers and on occasion with the Brock University varsity team.
She has been taking wrestling more seriously ever since winning antique bronze at OFSAA in Grade 9.
“That was what made me decide to push myself more in it. I realized I could do really well in the sport and my coach, Megan Schweitzer, she promoted it really well. I’ve had a lot of fun with her and I attribute a lot of my success to her coaching.”
Corbett is a much different wrestler now compared to Grade 9.
“My skill is completely different from Grade 9 until now, It has changed a lot because high school wrestling is so much different from club and varsity wrestling.”
What has changed the most is her mental state in regard to the sport.
“At the beginning of the year, I was a wreck, I’m not going to lie. I didn’t know how to cope with loss. I was losing matches and it was so frustrating to me because I didn’t know how to deal with it,” she said. “Towards the end of the year, I noticed that when I had more fun at tournaments that is what had me start winning and that’s something that Megan has been working on a lot with me. It’s mainly my attitude and mental toughness because I have the drive and physicality. When I start losing is when I lose that focus mentally.”
Corbett is heading to Brock this fall to study concurrent education and she will be trying to earn a spot on the school’s varsity team. She knows it won’t be easy but feels Schweitzer has prepared her well for the next step.
“She is tough but it is a tough sport and you need to be. My medals are personal medals but I attribute a lot of it to her. She has created such an amazing wrestling program here at BT that it is hard not to want to be in it and hard not succeed if you put your mind to it.”
Corbett will miss Schweitzer and the feeling is mutual.
“I have had Cassie since Grade 9 and I teared up when she wrestled her last match at nationals,” Schweitzer said. “She has a ton of potential coming in the next few years. She trains really hard, she is very dedicated and is a great leader on and off the mat.”