For the Love of the Game

Murph Bam­rick’s pas­sion for lacrosse puts Ram­sey pro­gram into play

201 Family - - CONTENTS - WRIT­TEN BY BRIAN A. GIUFFRA PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY ANNE-MARIE CARUSO

It is not easy start­ing a lacrosse pro­gram from scratch, or any sports pro­gram for that mat­ter. It takes time, de­sire, ded­i­ca­tion, sac­ri­fice, com­mit­ment, per­se­ver­ance, coach­ing abil­ity, a vol­un­teer­ing spirit, and most of all a pas­sion for and knowl­edge of the sport.

If any­one possesses all those at­tributes, it’s Murph Bam­rick, the pres­i­dent of the Ram­sey ju­nior youth lacrosse as­so­ci­a­tion.

Bam­rick helped cre­ate one of the first lacrosse pro­grams in Ber­gen County when he was in high school and the sport was in its in­fancy, and his sec­ond lacrosse startup is be­gin­ning to de­velop the way his pre­vi­ous one did more than 25 years ago.

All it took was a lot of work, a lot of help and a lit­tle luck.

In 2009, five years af­ter mov­ing into town with his wife, Bam­rick, 42, started the Ram­sey Youth Lacrosse Pro­gram along with Dan Polizzotti and more than a dozen other vol­un­teers. To­gether they built the pro­gram into one of the best in the area and will see that hard work pay off this spring when Ram­sey High School fields boys’ and girls’ fresh­man lacrosse teams for the first time.

“It means the ab­so­lute world to me and Dan and all the people who put all the time and ef­fort in to build this or­ga­ni­za­tion to see the kids play­ing in high school,” Bam­rick says. “That first game is go­ing to be re­ally ex­cit­ing. I may get teary-eyed, I’ll be so happy for them.”

That’s not hy­per­bole. It’s a feel­ing based on ex­pe­ri­ence.

Bam­rick, who grew up in Wood­cliff Lake, fell in love with lacrosse play­ing win­ter and sum­mer ball in Ridge­wood, where he was taught by leg­endary Maroons coach Steve Ja­cob­son. There were only a few var­sity lacrosse pro­grams in Ber­gen County when Bam­rick en­rolled at St. Joseph’s of Mont­vale in the fall of 1985, and the Green Knights were not among them.

Un­de­terred, Bam­rick, along with his friend Rich Robin­son, asked the school if he could start a club pro­gram there as a sopho­more. St. Joe’s granted them per­mis­sion and by Bam­rick’s ju­nior year the

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