High School News

World Language Honor Society Induction Ceremony was celebrated
Bruce Moran

A celebration of the exceptional skills of Bridgewater-Raritan High School students with their studies in world languages took center stage on the evening of Wednesday, May 22.


The stage was the venue in the Bridgewater-Raritan High School auditorium, where the World Language Honor Society Induction Ceremony was performed.


Students were inducted in a ceremony into the high school’s six honor societies for world languages before a crowd that included staff, family, and friends.

That evening, a reception following the induction ceremony was held in the high school's cafeteria.


The Bridgewater-Raritan High School World Language Honor Societies are:


French Honor Society


German Honor Society


Italian Honor Society


Latin Honor Society


Chinese Honor Society


Spanish Honor Society


Leigh Ann Matthews, the school district’s Supervisor of K-12 World Languages and English as a Second Language (ESL), introduced the ceremony.


She shared her thoughts about this special evening.


“The World Language Honor Society Induction Ceremony was a true celebration of multilingualism,’ Ms. Matthews said. “Congratulations to all of the inductees on this amazing accomplishment.”


She continued with her gratitude to the high school’s staff.


 “And thank you to the Honor Society advisors for their hard work planning and hosting this event. It was truly a team effort from start to finish.”


Below is a link to the entire program that lists all the names of the students who were inducted and their advisors.

 

Induction Ceremony program


Here are video clips of the induction ceremony that evening.

 

Honor Societies Induction Ceremony 1

Honor Societies Induction Ceremony 2

Honor Societies Induction Ceremony 3

Honor Societies Induction Ceremony 4

Honor Societies Induction Ceremony 5

Honor Societies Induction Ceremony 6

Baseball team won first county title since 1996 and will zero in on state championship
Bruce Moran

Bridgewater-Raritan High School is the king of Somerset County baseball – for the first time
since the spring of 1996.

While the winningest squad in program history knows its mission in 2024 is not yet finished,
winning its Somerset County Baseball Tournament in 28 years will certainly boost its confidence
towards achieving its biggest goal----being the king of the entire Garden State by winning the Group 4 state championship.

Down by one run heading into the bottom of the third inning against third-seeded
Ridge High School (20-8), top-seeded Bridgewater-Raritan (25-3) exploded for seven
unanswered runs before holding on for a 10-7 victory over its rival in the Somerset County Baseball
Tournament final on a warm evening of Friday, May 24, at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater.

“At batting practice, I said to our offense that our pitching has been winning us a lot of games
and that it’s time for our offense to step up and win us a game,” said Max Newill, the Bridgewater-Raritan head coach about his pregame message. “On a night when we were a little bit sloppy defensively and gave up a little too many free bases more than we normally do, our offense really stepped up and carried the day today.”

Since Newill became the head coach at Bridgewater-Raritan in 2008, the Panthers had made one previous appearance in the Somerset County Tournament final in 2012, when the Panthers fell by a score of 4-3 against Hillsborough High School. 

Ridge was denied its eighth Somerset County Tournament championship and signaled the second Somerset County Tournament crown for Bridgewater-Raritan, which was consolidated in 1992.

Before the two high schools merged, Bridgewater-Raritan East claimed three county
championships (1990, ’78, and ’73), while Bridgewater-Raritan West captured one (1988).
In the spring of 1996, sixth-seeded Bridgewater-Raritan defeated top-seeded Immaculata High
School, 7-5, in the Somerset County final.

The victory over Ridge was the Panthers’ third this year against the Red Devils and 25th overall
of the season, which extends Bridgewater-Raritan’s record for most victories in school history. The previous school record of 23 victories was broken in top-seeded Bridgewater-Raritan’s 3-0 triumph over 16th-seeded Union High School in the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 state sectional tournament opener on May 23.

Bridgewater-Raritan, which is ranked No. 4 in New Jersey, will try to further extend its season
when it resumes its state tournament run in the sectional quarterfinal round against ninth-seeded Edison High School on Wednesday, May 29, at 4 p.m. in Bridgewater.


In the county title game on May 24, the night fittingly began with a ceremonial first pitch from the legendary Carl Weigner, the former Bridgewater-Raritan West and Bridgewater-Raritan Athletic Director (1978-99). He is the outgoing president of the Skyland Conference after 26 years in
Charge.

Senior Devin Goldberg opened the game’s scoring on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by junior
catcher JR Rosado in the top of the first inning. This came after junior starter Owen Crimmins
(4.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 6 BB, 4 K, 2 HB) escaped the top of the first inning unscathed despite facing
a bases-loaded jam with one out, as he got a pop-out to senior Michael Taylor to freeze the Red
Devils’ runners before collecting a strikeout to end the inning.

With Bridgewater-Raritan taking a 1-0 lead into the top of the third inning, two walks by Ridge
along with a fielding error by the Panthers loaded the bases again for the Red Devils with two
outs. Ridge then capitalized on a two-run single to take a 2-1 lead before Crimmins struck out his next batter to strand the remaining two Red Devils’ runners.

“I definitely struggled a little bit from behind, but I knew I had to bear down in those moments
with the bases loaded and pick up a couple of big outs,” reflected Crimmins, who ultimately
earned the win on the mound for the Panthers. “With that defense behind me, it’s pretty hard to
score on them.”

With the Panthers down 2-1 heading into the bottom of the third inning, senior Matt Fattore
worked a leadoff walk, junior Matt Cichocki delivered a first-pitch double, and Rosado walked
to load the bases with nobody out. With one out and facing a one-strike count, Verano gave
Bridgewater-Raritan the lead for good on a go-ahead, two-run single.

“I went up there and was ready to swing,” Verano shared of his critical moment. “There was
nothing in my head but swinging the bat. Our guys had been doing everything right this whole
game. They had great at-bats, and we just passed the baton.”

Fellow senior Joe Spirra, who returned to the baseball squad this season after not
playing on the team in 2023, then doubled his team’s lead to 4-2 on a bunt single en route to him and Verano finishing with a team-high two RBIs each.

And so far in his return, Spirra now has contributed to the most wins in program history in
addition to a county championship, but he and his teammates know there is even more at stake
moving forward.

“Them being good last year had nothing to do with it,” revealed of why he returned to the
baseball team by Spirra, who will be playing football at New York’s Ithaca College next year. “I
missed all of the guys, the coaches, and the game. There’s nothing bad to say about anyone here. Everyone is all-inclusive, so supportive of each other, and just a great group of guys.”
From there, Bridgewater-Raritan continued to pass the baton.

At the end of the Panthers’ explosive lineup, senior Michael Taylor then singled as part of a
perfect four-for-four day at the plate. Goldberg then singled at the top of the order before a
throwing error by Ridge then brought home two more runs to cap off Bridgewater Raritan's five--
spot in the third inning.

Crimmins then took the mound with a 6-2 lead to begin the fourth inning, and Bridgewater-
Raritan then gave him an 8-2 cushion to work with heading into the fifth inning after Cichocki
and sophomore Kellan Komline added one run each.

With one out in the top of the fifth inning and after 91 pitches thrown, Crimmins departed the
mound after Ridge walked twice to put two runners aboard.

These six runs of breathing room proved to be valuable against a dangerous and scorching-hot
Ridge squad. After all, Ridge is ranked No. 20 in New Jersey and has already seen the
Panthers twice in the regular season. Ridge entered the county final  with victories in
19 of its last 22 games after a 1-4 start to the season.

Senior Joey Letko then took the ball for Bridgewater-Raritan with two Red Devils runners
aboard, and while he did not allow an earned run, Ridge collected back-to-back walks to load the bases and then score one run. Ridge then cut the Panthers’ lead to 8-4 on an RBI single,
and then Newill summoned his valuable relief pitcher, senior Cory Rible (2.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HB).

A bobbled exchange from the mound to the plate on a comebacker ground ball then brought
home two more Ridge runs and cut Bridgewater Raritan's lead to 8-6, but Rible responded
with back-to-back first-pitch outs to get his team out of the inning.

Junior Matt Lehberger then opened the bottom of the fifth inning with a leadoff single before
scoring on an RBI triple by Fattore, and Cichocki extended the Panthers’ lead to 10-6 on a
a sacrifice fly that rounded out the team’s scoring.

“I’m very proud of them, and they did a great job,” Newill went on to say about his offense.
“Most of our bats were quality at-bats – one after another, so it was great to see.”

Choir students delivered a "wonderful" performance at the Spring Concert
Bruce Moran

Their ambition to succeed was as successful as their tones.

The choir students at Bridgewater-Raritan High School delivered a "wonderful" performance when the Spring Concert was held on Thursday, May 16, in the high school’s auditorium.

This resounding concert was just another stellar presentation under the guidance of Dr. John Wilson, the Bridgewater-Raritan High School Choral Director.

But there was one difference—a major one at that.

The performance was the final Spring Concert to be directed by Dr. Wilson at Bridgewater-Raritan High School.

Dr. Wilson, who has served as the high school’s Choral Director since 2006, will leave Bridgewater-Raritan High School once classes end on June 19. He will take his talents to the next education level—in college.

He will assume the Director of Choral Activities position at the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz.

But, as usual, he focused on preparing his students for the Spring Concert, which was—as expected—well attended on the evening of May 16.

“Over the last week, our choral students demonstrated a desire to present a wonderful concert. It was wonderful to watch them work together with earnestness and energy,” Dr. Wilson said.  “I want to congratulate our wonderful senior class and our choir family as a whole. “

Congratulations should be shared with the Director, too.

“This spring concert is bittersweet for me, as it will be my last at BRHS. I will cherish this memory and am grateful to have had the opportunity to celebrate our wonderful students one last time,” Dr. Wilson revealed.  

Here is the Spring Concert program that offered a complete listing of the songs and the students who performed on May 16.

BRHS Spring Chorus Concert 2024 program

A video below of the performances during the Spring concert.

BRHS Spring Concert video 1

 

BRHS Spring Concert video 2

 

BRHS Spring Concert video 3

 

Unified Sports Track and Field team experienced a superb spring season
Bruce Moran

Another athletic season for Unified Sports was another highly successful season at Bridgewater-Raritan High School.


This spring, Bridgewater-Raritan High School sponsored a Unified Sports Track and Field team, which matched the enjoyment of participation and partnership that also thrived during the Unified Sports teams earlier this school year—-soccer in the fall and basketball in the winter.


Annie Higgins, the Bridgewater-Raritan High School Teacher of Special Education-Multiple Disabilities, served as the coach of the track and field unit this spring.


The dedicated and tireless Ms. Higgins reviewed what a terrific season it was.


“This year, over 20 students participated in our Unified Track and Field team,” she said. “The team competed in three away meets. Athletes participated in 100-,  200-, and 400-meter races: the shot put, the long jump, and finally, the 4 x 100 relay. The team practiced after school at the track at Basilone Field”.


Unified Sports teams consist of students who attend special education classes and students who are involved in the Physical Education Department's Partners Program.  


Ms. Higgins explained the mission of this highly popular activity at Bridgewater-Raritan.


“Unified Sports provides a level playing field for athletes with and without disabilities. To play unified also means to compete in the same arena, regardless of gender,” Ms. Higgins stated. “Having both males and females on the same team,  With each athlete demonstrating an individual level of ability, makes for a very diverse competition, which is fun to watch!”


Ms. Higgins shared her passion for the program.


“My favorite part about coaching unified track and field is going to other schools and interacting with their unified teams. Each team demonstrates inclusion and encouragement for participating athletes.”


She concluded:


“ It’s also wonderful to see our athletes develop new skills and, therefore, increased self-confidence! Witnessing the peers’  increasing awareness of the awesomeness of their classmates with diverse abilities is just inspiring and provides hope for a future that is inclusive!”
 

High school French students sparkled in national competition
Bruce Moran

Students of French at Bridgewater-Raritan High School thrived when they recently participated in the in The National French Contest/Le Grand Concours.

The Le Grand Concours is an annual competition sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French.

Students of French in Grades 1-12, in all 50 states and abroad, take a written test and compete against students with similar educational backgrounds for prizes.

According to Bridgewater-Raritan High School administrators, French students in Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4 French Honors courses, as well as AP French, were presented with the option to participate in the test.

A statement from Bridgewater-Raritan High School administrators:

“ We are proud of all of the students who chose to do so. Many of the students scored very well, a testimony to the hard work they have done in French over the school year.”

Here are the Bridgewater-Raritan High School French students who received awards in the Le Grand Concours.

BRHS Le Grand Concours winners

Below is a link to a description of rankings, levels and medals. Most of the Bridgewater-Raritan High School students are on Division A of their levels (i.e. 2A, 3A, 4A).

 

http://www.frenchteachers.org/concours/Resources/gc_stats.html