Bridgton Academy has announced the creation of a second hockey program at the school for the upcoming year. This move follows the move by Bridgton Academy 4 years ago to elevate its original program to a “Junior Hockey” level, playing predominantly Eastern Junior Hockey League (EJHL) and other similar clubs. That change of schedule was viewed as revolutionary a few years ago, leading other schools to consider how to follow Bridgton’s lead as the Wolverines increased their level of competition and exposure for the program.
“The move to Juniors gave the program a significant boost. By so doing, we have seen an incredible jump in interest from student-athletes considering Bridgton Academy generally and our hockey program specifically. As such, we have researched ways to leverage that interest by supporting two distinct competitive teams: one that would continue to play a predominantly Junior schedule and a second team that would play a more traditional Prep School schedule with numerous college club team opposition sprinkled in. This really gives our student-athletes a chance to come in and play appropriate level hockey while benefiting from our rigorous academic program, built specifically for the PG student,” said Grady Vigneau, Headmaster.
With the move to an additional team, the school has restructured its coaching staff. Head Coach, Jonathan Lounsbury ’01, has been named Director of Hockey and will continue to serve as Head Coach of the Junior Team. Former Assistant Coach, Mike Meserve, has been named Director of Hockey Operations and Head Coach of the Prep Team. Chris Travis ’06, has been brought on as an Athletic Department intern, also serving as an Assistant Coach to both programs.
“Bridgton has a strong and storied history with hockey. The addition of a second team celebrates that history and enables us to offer increased athletic opportunity for students who will most importantly benefit from all that Bridgton Academy offers on the academic side of the equation,” said Lounsbury.
The new Prep Team will be a standalone program, with their own practice times, team room, and schedule. They will play New England Prep Schools, along with teams from Junior B programs, AAA midgets and college club teams.