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April 2014 Bring the Ice Chippers & Shovels! We Want Our Spring Sports!

Saturday, Mar. 8 -- Branchburg Lacrosse Club at Old Towne Park The ground in Branchburg was

super cold when an ice storm hit on Feb 5 & 6. The results were still be- ing felt in mid-March. For about six weeks after the

ice storm, ice and snow were vir- tually “welded” to the ground; the cold trapped and insulated under a three-inch layer of ice. Chipping ice from surfaces was a tedious daily task, a few feet at a time, then wait- ing for the edges to soften up a bit, and then another short, frustrating round of chipping (often followed by another round of snowfall). Plenty of Advil was consumed. By the time an equally frosty March showed up, coaches of out-

door sports teams were furrowing their brows about spring training. Play and practice fields were still frozen. Luckily, the Branchburg Baseball Club was not scheduled to take to the fields until early April. But the Branchburg Lacrosse Club and Branchburg Travel Soc- cer Club usually begin playing in March. Dave Frankel, president of the

Travel Soccer Club wrote on Mar. 11 that the impact on the season has been “pretty significant.” The third annual IceBreaker Classic soccer tournament scheduled for Mar. 8 was being postponed. Week one of the Mid New Jersey Youth Soccer

Sunday, Mar. 9 -- Branchburg Lacrosse Club at Old Towne Park

Association season, supposed to start Mar. 8, was being postponed. With an inch or two snow/ice still on the grass fields, two weeks of games were postponed and week three looked to be in jeopardy. Teams were scrambling to find indoor space for practices/train- ing. Teams booked space at the Branchburg Sports Complex and reached out to the local schools for gym space. Frankel wrote: “April and May will be very busy with make-up games with many teams playing on both Saturday and Sun- day in order to try and get all of the games played.” On Saturday, Mar. 8, with tem-

peratures rising toward the tropical 50s, parents, players and coaches of the Branchburg Lacrosse Club attacked the ice at the old roller hockey rink at Old Towne Park. Dave Barr, club president, said “We normally practice in March on the play fields at Whiton School, but we realized that even if the ice melts it would be two to three weeks before the field dries enough to put kids on there. “Glenn Burrell (township rec-

reation director) has been great at supporting us, and we had asked him last year if we could use the roller hockey rink for box lacrosse, since it’s not used for roller hockey

anymore. So the township let us use it last year, and we asked this year if they would let us get all the ice out of there and use it. The DPW has been working non-stop and they certainly didn’t have the resources to clean out a roller rink. Glenn was very gracious, and we put out an email to our membership. On Saturday, Mar. 8, we had about 50 people show up, and in about two hours we had the place clean. On Sunday it was bone dry and about 100 kids were able to practice.”

Open House Apr. 11 to Introduce BSC Basketball and Volleyball Courts

titions, demo classes and an all-star basketball game featuring athletes from local high schools. This event is free and open to the public. For more info: phone 908-203-1600 or email sports@branchburgsports. com.

Mark Lauber, BSC owner, said

Shoot! The public is invited to participate as basketball and volleyball are added to BSC’s list of available sports.

The Branchburg Sports Com-

plex (BSC) already packs baseball, softball, football, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, laser tag, arcade games and more into 78,000 indoor square feet of sports, play and training space. Now add basketball and volleyball

to the scene. On Friday, Apr. 11, from 5:30

to 8 p.m., BSC will host an open house featuring its new basketball and volleyball courts. There will be an exciting schedule of events -- guests will enjoy open shoot- around time, skills & drills compe-

there will be two high-school regu- lation basketball courts, with four regulation volleyball courts painted on the wood. The courts are be- ing installed on BSC’s big 20,000 square foot turf field, right over the turf. The flooring and hardware are removable and storable, so the courts can be taken up when more turf is needed in various seasons. But even with the courts in place, BSC will still have about 12,000 square feet of turf available. Lauber said for the first couple of

weeks, BSC is going to offer what are called open runs. “By age group we’ll let kids come in and for a $5 fee, they’ll be able to play for an hour and a half with kids their own age, sort of like pick-up games,” he said. “Then after that we’ll start getting into our leagues, which are going to start April 21, and that



New Brunswick, NJ Permit No. 1757

will be for kids and adults. In fact we’re going to have four differ- ent divisions for adults, which I think will be really great. And then we’re going to be running a spring break basketball camp, and we’re also going to be doing five weeks of basketball camps in the sum- mertime.” For volleyball, BSC bought

professional netting systems. “It’s not just a vertical pole with a base on it,” Lauber said. “These are professional grade nettings that don’t move when they’re hit with a ball or your arm. They’re really stiff. They actually have a built- in judge’s stand on them. Very unique. There will be two volley- ball courts painted on each basket-

ball court. So we’ll have two high school regulation basketball courts and four regulation volleyball courts. So we can do four volley- ball games at a time. We might be the only facility in Central Jersey that has four courts available to be played on at any one time.” Said Lauber, “It’s really going to

be fun. We already have two pro- moters of basketball tournaments that have come in and booked -- one the 13th of April and another the entire first weekend of May. We have a volleyball tournament that will be announced soon, put on by USA Volleyball. So it’s re- ally been the most exciting devel- opment since we opened here at the BSC 3 1/2 years ago.”

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