In 1978, Jack Kripsak decided he wanted to play lacrosse in high school. The high school he attended, Bridgewater Raritan East, did not have a team. So, Jack decided to organize the Bridgewater Raritan lacrosse club.His newly formed club needed an advisor. He found a young science teacher, Mr. Rick Szeles, to help him and they were on their way. To fund the club, they sold plants, had a raffle, did anything they could to raise money. In 1980, the club became an official boy's varsity sport. Thank you to all the original members of the Bridgewater Raritan lacrosse club who helped to get lacrosse started in Bridgewater and a special thanks to Jack and Coach Szeles whose determination made it all possible.
From those humble beginnings the Bridgewater Raritan High School Lacrosse program has flourished to become one of the top boy's lacrosse teams in the state of New Jersey. Lead by NJ Hall of Fame coach, Chuck Apel, Bridgewater has won almost 7 out of every 10 games they have played, while turning out all-state and all-american players at a steady rate. In fact, over the last 30 years, the lacrosse program has had more players continue their playing careers in college than all other sports at the high school combined.
This success helped to build the demand for an active youth program so that young Bridgewater residents can learn the skills needed to compete at such a high level once they reach the high school. The youth program now starts teaching lacrosse to boys and girls as young as 3 years old.
In the spring of 1986 after having a Boy's Varsity program for 6 years, Chuck Apel thought it was time to start up a youth program in Bridgewater. It was hoped that this program would quickly become a feeder-program for the HS team.Fortunately for Coach Apel and the aspiring young lacrosse boys in Bridgewater, former BR HS player Dan Chiovarou was available and willing to take on the challenge of coaching the team. The first youth team in Bridgewater was comprised of 6th, 7th, & 8th grade boys and in just a few short years Bridgewater was able to field teams from 5th through 8th grade.
Upon graduation from college another returning Bridgewater HS lacrosse player, Jim Eckert, joined Dan and along with other coaches began to expand the youth program. Jim became the Youth Program director and guided the program for more than 10 years. Over the course of this time, the Bridgewater Youth Lacrosse program earned a reputation as one of the most competitive programs in New Jersey. The results of the program was seen in the 1998 Boy's HS Varsity season when the team won the NJ State Championship and went undefeated.
During the next 10 years, the program was lead by MG Hollingsworth. A native of Martinsville, MG took the youth program to a higher level. He developed new programs such as the Pee Wee Program and rejuvenated old Fall Ball and Winter Indoor programs. By the end of MG's tenure, the program had expanded to over 200 boys from grades 2 through 8.
Jim Eckert's second stint as program director was from 2010 through 2022. During this time Bridgewater Lacrosse not only developed new and exciting youth programs, but also fed the HS program with highly skilled players that resulted in an incredible run of Championship teams. The program is constantly working on innovative ways to teach lacrosse and to have our players develop a true love of the game. This combined with the "Family-Friendly" nature of our program makes "Bridgewater Youth Lacrosse" the best kept secret in Bridgewater.
|1980||FIRST YEAR OF THE PROGRAM|
|1983||COACHES TOURNAMENT "B" DIVISION STATE CHAMPIONS|
|1998||NJ STATE CHAMPIONS|
|2009||GROUP IV STATE CHAMPIONS|
|2011||TOC STATE CHAMPIONS|
|2012||TOC STATE CHAMPIONS|
|2015||TOC STATE CHAMPIONS|
|2016||GROUP IV STATE CHAMPIONS|
|2022||GROUP IV STATE CHAMPIONS|
|1984||Jim Eckert||1984||Chuck Lowe|
|1985||Paul Heck||1986||M.G. Hollingsworth|
|1986||Tim Pritts||1988||Tom Cleary|
|1992||Matt Elzer||1993||Aaron Kurdyla|
|1994||Eric Farber||1994||Greg Mecca|
|1997||Kevin Buchan||1997||Brian Lomastro|
|1998||Phil Schambach||1998||Anatole Wedmid|
|1999||Brian Brady||2000||Matt Apel|
|2009||Alex Eaton||2009||Jordan Rothman|
|2010||Alex Eaton||2010||Brendan Grover|
|2011||Tyler Barbearich||2011||BJ Grill|
|2011||Ryan Hollingsworth||2012||Scott Bieda|
|2012||Vince Coltriano||2012||Ryan Hollingsworth|
|2012||Zack Jones||2012||Ray Mastroiani|
|2012||Evan Mock||2013||Jared Kaden|
|2015||Richie Lenskold||2015||Griffin Figel|
|2015||Nick Grill||2016||Ethan Christensen|
|2016||Brian Kolen||2016||Nick Grill|
|2017||Nick Attanasio||2018||Bobby Russo|
|2021||AJ Apel||2022||Brady Kurdyla|