Bridgewater-Raritan’s No.13 boys’ lacrosse continues to roll in a family atmosphere (PHOTOS)

The Kurdyla brothers were born to play lacrosse in Bridgewater-Raritan.

Brady and Collin might as well have been wrapped in black and white Panthers jerseys at birth, preparing the tandem to one day join the Bridgewater-Raritan team. It’s in their blood.

Their father, Aaron, was an outstanding player for Bridgewater-Raritan before playing for Rutgers. Their uncle, Allen, did the same and is now an assistant coach for the Panthers.

Brady has already pledged to follow the same college path and join the Scarlet Knights in two years. Collin is also a Division I level talent and the sophomore quickly shows why he will be the next in a long list of stars to play for the legendary Bridgewater-Raritan coach. Chuck apel.

A year ago, the Kurdyla brothers should have shared the land together in Bridgewater-Raritan.

They were deprived of this opportunity and it has been two years since Brady donned his No. 32 Panthers uniform. He had been eager to put on that black and white again. This time around, it has added meaning with Collin, wearing his No.88, lining up with him in 2021.

The duo have struggled to slow down this season, combining 18 goals and 10 assists.

“Honestly, playing with my brother is so sick,” Brady said. “Last year we didn’t have a season so we missed this chance to play together. It’s really special to have this opportunity this year. Then you add to play for Coach Apel and it’s just a dream come true for us. This is so cool.”

Brady broke as a rookie in 2019, with 24 goals and 13 assists.

Those numbers were impressive for a rookie who joined one of the state’s top programs. Brady returned this season as one of the state’s most touted players and he knew things were only going to get better for the Panthers as his brother made his college debut. He couldn’t wait.

You can see that passion on the pitch when Top 20 No.13 Bridgewater-Raritan goes on the offensive. Collin took a shot on Wednesday, and the first person to celebrate the score was Brady.

The Kurdylas are clicking right now. Brady has eight goals and nine assists, and Collin leads the team with 10 scores. Senior goalie AJ Apel says their chemistry is “out of the ordinary”.

But the rest of the offense is also starting to be on the same page.

Bridgewater-Raritan has scored double-digit goals in the last three games and scored a season 11 record against Montgomery. Brady led the team with one goal and three assists, while Collin scored two points.

Pat cullen, Alex Delierre, Jarrett Dugenio, Brandon lewindowski, Matt Miciolek and Tom tremarco also landed shots in the back of the net for the Panthers, who are now on a three-game winning steak.

“The players around me make us great,” said Collin. “He’s never really a player. It’s everyone. We came out a bit slowly against Montgomery and the defense was there to pick us up. Once the ball started to fall, we kept moving forward. I feel like once we get into a groove, we’re unstoppable. We’re one of the best teams in the state and we can go as far as we want.

The defense has also been extinguished since an opening loss of the season to No.1 Don Bosco Prep – the first favorite to win the A Non-Public title.

AJ Apel anchors this unit in his first year as a full net timekeeper.

The York commit is the epitome of Bridgewater-Raritan lacrosse and wears the number 8 this season – a number worn annually to honor Michael Bruce. It’s something Apel takes very seriously as one of the leaders this spring for a program his uncle, Chuck, has coached for over 40 years.

The senior has made eight saves against Montgomery and has 50 saves this season. He only scored 28 goals in total in 2021, including 14 against Don Bosco Prep. He’s been hard to beat ever since.

“Once I found out I was going to be No.8, it was the most humiliating honor I could have ever received,” said AJ Apel. “I can’t wait to be with these boys all year round and hope to get to OCD. Finally, having this chance to start in college is a dream come true for me. Coach Apel is one of the best coaches in New Jersey and it’s great to play for him. In practice, we do exactly what we do here in the game. We have a little fun, but then we get serious.

“After missing last year, just being able to get out and enter that pitch is something special.”

Binghamton’s Commitment Christian hanko and Long Island University commit Nick kasica are also leaders in defense for Bridgewater-Raritan with the junior long pole Jonathan mock. This defensive trio have locked in since the season opener, starting with a courageous performance in a narrow 5-4 loss to No.10 Pingry – one of the early favorites in the non-public B title race.

Since then, the Panthers have won victories over North Hunterdon (10-1), Watchung Hills (10-4) and Montgomery. Bridgewater-Raritan is playing really well at the moment and he hopes to keep improving every day, knowing full well what it will take to compete with some of the powerful teams in Group 4.

“We came out and had to play against Bosco to start the season. We lost that game and failed against Pingry, but we’re such a better team from there, ”said Brady Kurdyla. “Honestly, I would love to play them again. We are a much better team now and we keep improving every week. “

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Brandon Gould can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on twitter @BrandonGouldHS.

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