High school's first Dodgeball Tournament is a smashing hit

High school's first Dodgeball Tournament is a smashing hit


The winning team sported an average name but the event went well beyond average.

In fact, the Bridgewater-Raritan High School Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) batted for the average of 1.000.

One Dodgeball Tournament held and one Dodgeball Tournament is a hit–and no pun intended.

The first Bridgewater-Raritan High School PTO “Dodge It” Dodgeball Tournament was held on Friday, March 10, in the school’s main gym.

During this energetic evening of fun and balls flying in all directions, the crowd watched when 15 teams of eight players—high school students and one squad from the Board of Education—put on a show that resulted in what was so crucial behind this keen idea—raising funds for the PTO.

According to the trailblazer of this festival, Adriana D’Arco, the event, which featured basket and 50-50 raffles, raised over $3,000. A good portion of these funds will be used towards scholarships for members of the senior class at the high school.

There were winners all throughout the gym that evening.

The team that emerged as the first champion—and will have the trophy proudly standing in the high school trophy case—was titled “Average Joe’s.”

They offered no apologies when this squad knocked off—but no knockouts luckily for the night–the team known as the “Sorrryyy Bout That” in the final round.

The students who comprised this championship club were junior Joe Locotando, who served as the squad’s vibrant captain, and fellow junior class mates Anthony Confalone, Annabel Frank, Logan Krizan, Tommy Larsen, Joe Spirra and Colin Woodring and senior Amanda Winchock.

The winner of the Best Costume Award was “The BBK’s” while the team known as “Great Balls of Fire” won the Best Team Name honor.

The high school’s extremely popular Unified Basketball Team, which completed its first season ever this year, also shined on the court and grabbed a trophy for its performance during the halftime showcase when these spirited students played alongside their buddies, the P.E. Partners.

All of this entertainment must be diverted back to summer when the high school’s PTO devised this showcase.

Ms. D’Arco explained the goal of these creative and passionate pioneers.

“The idea was a brainchild of our BRHS PTO Board of Trustees last summer when we began brainstorming fundraising ideas for the 2022-2023 school year. Our goal was to create an event that has never been done before­--that would not only ignite school spirit but raise money for the Bridgewater-Raritan High School PTO,” Ms. D’Arco recalled. “In speaking with some of our own high school children in the district, dodgeball was the first word that came to mind. And our very own BRHS alum, Elsie Pierron (Class of 2022), used her skills as a graphic artist to create our “Dodge It” logo.

She continued with her story about this brilliant idea.

“We began planning in early fall with the full support and guidance from Mr. Hemberger (Dan, Bridgewater-Raritan High School Principal). We were extremely fortunate to identify Mr. Adam Pyle, BRHS PE Teacher, who was eager to collaborate and took on the role of co-Tournament Director with myself. And with the imaginations and creativity of our two Senior student representatives, Anthony D’Arco and Bryce Pantozzi, we were able to witness history in the making on March 10, 2023.”

Ms. D’Arco shared the accolades with a cast of volunteers who teamed up to actually result in a historic event.

 “The PTO recruited parent volunteers to run the event and members of the National Honor Society to help keep the games running smoothly by keeping balls in play. And the night would not have been complete without the musical stylings of DJ Randy, a long-time BRRSD fan favorite,” Ms. D’Arco said.  “A special thanks goes to Quantum Wellness of Bedminster who donated a 1-hour flotation therapy session to each member of the winning team, and to the event’s five generous tournament sponsors: Club Pilates of Bridgewater, Barry’s Appliance, Summit Medical Group, Deck Guardian, and NJ Siding & Windows”

Her endless list of people who were valuable contributors continued.

“The BRHS PTO could not have pulled off such an epic event without the support of our BRHS administration and faculty. They would like to thank Mr. Hemberger, for his encouragement and guidance along the way. Mr. Adam Pyle, for his unwavering partnership and unparalleled contributions as the co-Tournament Director. The BRHS PE staff who volunteered their time to set up courts and officiate the games: Mr. Jim Casey, Ms. Kristin Bonzcek, Mr. Craig Miller, and Mr. Dylan Damabrosio. Thank you to BRTV and the BRHS Yearbook Staff for their work in spreading the word and documenting this history in the making. And last but not least, the PTO would like to express their gratitude to Anthony D’Arco (Grade 12) and Bryce Pantozzi (Grade 12), the tournament committee’s student representatives. They acted as the voice of the students, meticulously thinking through intricate details and bringing the event to life on the ground.”

 Her son, Anthony D’Arco, shared his feelings.

 “It was really amazing to see months of work pay off in such a great event. I was gratefully shocked to see the support from so many spectators and the spirited competitiveness from the players.”

Bryce Pantozzi was pleased to explain the focus of his squad, “Great Balls of Fire.”

 "We created our dodgeball team full of BRHS athletes from across different sports. I have never seen them so competitive like they were during this tournament...not even in their own sports,” he revealed.

Principal Hemberger joined in on spreading the news of what this event provided to the school and the community.

"The 1st annual Dodgeball tournament turned out to be a colorful, high energy event. There was a great turnout of student athletes and many spectators as well.  I’m grateful the PTO organized such a wonderful community activity.  It’s exciting that after school events have returned to BRHS!” Principal Hemberger said.

Ms. D’Arco spoke more about this historic event that has set the tone for the future.

he Dodgeball Tournament was a great activity to bring together our school district, students, faculty, and parents alike. We received astounding feedback from players and spectators and hope that the future BRHS PTO will continue to make this event an annual tradition.”