Bridgewater-Raritan's Bieda picks Rutgers
The interaction between Bridgewater-Raritan's Scott Bieda and Ryan Hollingsworth had become so crisp and prosperous the last two years, they seemed to be guided more by mental telepathy than merely skill and repetition.
That special connection between the attackmen will live on for the next four years as Bieda announced on Monday he will join Hollingsworth at Rutgers this September, and help form an incoming New Jersey attack line of unprecedented proportions.
Those two along with Summit attackman Nick Kilkowski--The MSG Varsity 2012 Player of the Year--were all named First Team All-America and were First Team All-New Jersey by MSG Varsity, as well. Bieda and Hollingsworth guided Bridgewater to a 21-0 record and a second consecutive NJSIAA Tournament of Champions crown last month.
"It's going to be awesome. I'm so pumped that I'm still going to be playing with Ryan and can't wait to play with Nick," Bieda said. "This is what I've always wanted. It's going to be a challenge, but I'm going to work as hard as I can to get on the field."
Bieda was initially committed to Manhattan and had the size of his scholarship offer increased when he requested a release several weeks ago. The Jaspers recently named former Chatham High coach Steve Manitta as their new head coach, but even his familiar presence--and the fact that Rutgers has no scholarship money available to was not enough to shake Bieda's dreams of bigger things.
"I know I'm taking a big risk because of the scholarship, but I've always wanted go to a big school," Bieda said. "It's not about the money. Rutgers has a great business school, so I know that degree will mean a lot."
Bieda's speed, grit and scoring aptitude--and, of course, that tight camaraderie with Hollingsworth--could mean a lot to Rutgers' lacrosse fortunes. The Scarlet Knights were 6-9 last spring under first-year coach Brian Brecht, but showed many positive signs of a forthcoming turnaround. Not the least is Brecht's impressive recruiting class.
Bieda scored 60 goals and had 47 assists to help Bridgewater build a 36-game winning streak that will be carried into the 2013 season. He capped his season with a career-high six goals June 9 to spark an 11-5 win over Delbarton in the T of C final. Hollingsworth assisted his longtime pal on four of those goals and also scored once. He finished the season with 90 points on 52 goals and 38 assists.
Kilkowski compiled 102 points on 79 goals and 23 assists this season to help Summit (20-2) claim Group 1 for its fourth straight state championship. Summit won the T of C in both 2009 and '10 and constructed a state-record 68-game win streak that was snapped by Bridgewater in the 2011 T of C final.
The three produced 299 points between them this season and have a cumulative 389 goals and 630 points for their careers. Kilkowski has 248 career points, followed by Bieda with 204 and Hollingsworth with 178.
"We've played in a couple tournaments together already, and we played well," Bieda said. The three, in fact, will team up at the War at the Shore later this month in Sea Girt. "It will be awesome to be with those two for the next four years."
Bieda and Hollingsworth continue a longstanding connection between Bridgewater-Raritan and Rutgers, starting with head coach Chuck Apel, who grew up on Long Island but was an All-America defender at Rutgers. Assistant coaches Matt Apel (his son), Allen Kurdyla and Phil Schambach all played for both schools, as did Hollingsworth's father, M.G., who coached his son and Bieda in middle school and at the recreation level.
Mike Kinney covers boys lacrosse for MSG Varsity. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeKinneyHS