For those members of the Bridgewater-Raritan High School Class of 1962, they began the school’s athletic history on many high notes.
With All County Team members, All State Team members and good records, the students who made the teams when the school first started set a precedent for what was to come.
Tom Gulick, a member of the Class of 1962, was a member of the football and wrestling teams as a student at BRHS. He said it was a unique position to be in in the first senior class.
“Being the ‘senior’ class for three years was a special privilege that we enjoyed as athletes,” he said. “Not only did we not have to fight the upperclassmen for our starting positions, but we had the good fortune of being the oldest and most experienced athletes for three years.”
The Class of 1962 is celebrating its 50th reunion with events Friday and Saturday to celebrate the first ever graduating class from Bridgewater-Raritan High School.
The football coach at the time, Gulick said, was respected as both an individual and a coach, and in the first year of varsity competition, the team’s record was 6-3.
“What a treat it was to put on a brand new uniform, with new pads and a helmet that had never been worn before,” he said.
Gulick said he remember being part of the first touchdown in Bridgewater-Raritan High School history.
“I can still remember very vividly waiting downfield for a Don Vallario pass to come down and praying that I would not drop it,” he said. “It turned out to be the very first touchdown ever scored on the BRHS football field, a record that can never be broken.”
At the end of the year, Gulick said, there were four players selected to the All County Team, and player Carl Schindelar was chosen to the All State Team.
“Of course, our class set many other records, and I think a lot had to do with the outstanding support we had from our cheerleaders, classmates, teachers, families and coaches,” Gulick said.
Class of 1962 graduate Bob Andreychak said the school qualified for the state tournament in basketball in 1962, winning it by beating Hunterdon Central, 75-57. And in its first ever varsity game, he said, the team beat North Plainfield, 70-45.
As far as baseball, Andreychak said, the Golden Falcons [the school’s first mascot] won the county championship that same year, beating Bernards High, 6-0.
“I led the team with four homeruns, and batted .354,” he said.
The wrestling coach at the time, Gulick said, was a former All East wrestler at Rutgers University. He said the team did not participate in a varsity competition until the Class of 1962 had started its senior year, so the team members had two years to develop their skills.
And at the end of senior year, Gulick said, the team had six district champions and one regional champion, Chuck Sadowski.
“We were [up against] wrestling schools that had wrestling programs in place for many years, but we were always confident in our abilities and our desire to prove that we were just as tough as the other more experienced schools,” Gulick said. “The number of our district and regional champions proved that we were correct in our thinking.”
Gulick said he is proud of his time at BRHS, and knows the students had a special education.
“We were the senior class for three years for our classroom work, our athletic teams and our other extracurricular activities,” he said. “This had to instill in us a certain confidence that other students were not as fortunate to have. We set many records and started many traditions that will live on as long as BRHS does.”
For more information on the reunion, visit the reunion website at brhs62.com.