Brandon MacIsaac had 3 touchdowns, 35 receptions, averaged 70 receiving yards per game, with a total of 567 yards on the 2017 season. Brandon’s production put him in the top ten receivers in the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL), second in the Prairie Football Conference (PFC), was added to the PFC all-star team and nominated for the CJFL rookie of the year. Brandon also won the Calgary Colts receiver of the year and rookie of the year awards.
As a young football fan growing up, one of Brandon’s heroes was Nick Lewis; a player who on second down, you could always count on to catch the ball for just enough to keep the sticks moving and he wasn’t afraid of getting in there and getting his nose dirty. Brandon says he sees a bit of Nick Lewis in himself.
Brandon learned phenomenal work ethic and discipline through his time playing Calgary football at St. Francis High School with the division one Browns and the Broncos (Calgary and Area Midget Football Association). He praised his coaches there for instilling his hard work ethic through a team rooted in tradition. A team where, tradition says, win or lose, you line up in silence after the game, board the bus, get back to school and run hills. Brandon says it taught him about the importance of commitment, hard work and giving it your all.
Brandon says joining the Calgary Colts Football Club this year helped him to build that commitment to hard work and grow his love and passion for the game. He’s met people who, regardless of whether they continue to play together, will remain friends for life. When asked about his favourite play of the season that he was involved in, he talked about that first touch down of the year in the first game against the Edmonton Huskies. Although it was a short one, just under a one yard throw, he said it was great to get that out of the way. It allowed him to feel confident and just have fun with the rest of the game. Brandon also talked about the game against the Regina Thunder where he had a big play that he felt was really a turning point for the game; lots of guys coming at him, breaking tackles, and he caught the ball and ran it in for a touchdown.
As a student of the University of Calgary, Brandon MacIsaac is studying Environmental Sciences with a focus in Geology and finished last year with a 3.1 GPA. He understands hard work and dedication and has learned a lot about time management. Balancing his time between studying science books and studying football film has kept him incredibly busy. He says, “You get home from practice and you probably have homework to do, or some film to watch and you’re like, ‘I could go do that, or I could go lay down,’ so you have to manage your time. You can’t be slacking.”
In the off season, his focus will be not only on routes and technical aspects like breaking tackles, but also about leadership. He knows his team is going to be looking to him to take on a stronger role next season and is looking forward to the new challenges that being a second year leader on the team will bring. He knows that getting stronger and faster are not the only priorities for his development.
In talking with Brandon, one can see he’s a very empathetic guy, able to put himself in other’s shoes, so to speak. He spends time every year volunteering to canvas and fundraise for the Canadian Diabetes Association. It’s a special cause to him because when he was a youngster playing hockey, he had a team mate with diabetes and could see that it made his lifestyle more challenging. “You see what he’s gotta go through every day. Especially as a kid, you’re out on a tournament and everybody around you is eating candy, and he can’t. And you kinda see these things and you feel bad…and you want to raise awareness for it.” Brandon is focused on making life for others better, easier and fair.
MacIssac is very humble and when asked about what the key to this year’s success was, he said,“It would definitely be my team mates. I for sure wouldn’t be here without them. My coaches and also my past coaches and team mates because I really wasn’t going to play football this year. They convinced me to come out and just have fun. That’s part of the reason why I actually played this year. Part of the success this year came from the coaches putting me in, in a position where I could have success; they kind of allowed me the freedom to succeed on the field. And obviously my team mates, because I would not be here without them.”
Knowing all this, one can understand why Brandon MacIsaac was the recipient of the Calgary Colts Football Club accolades for Receiver of the Year Award, Edward Awid Rookie of the Year Award, as well as the Calgary Dino’s/Calgary Stampeders sponsored Fifth Quarter Scholarship recipient. Add that to the CJFL Rookie All-Star Team nod and the nomination for the CJFL Rookie of the Year, and Brandon’s mantle is going to need some reinforcement. MacIssac said it was an honour to receive the CJFL Rookie of the Year nomination because it’s very special and, “You can only be nominated for it once, in your first year; so that’s kind of the coolest part about it. You don’t get another opportunity to do this.”