Becton Swim Team Returns This Winter


Becton Swim team at Meadowlands YMCA.

On Dec. 2 2022, students and staff received an update on the possibility of a Becton swim team. Last school year, a petition was started by several students with the hopes of bringing the extracurricular to Becton. With the addition of Maywood students and the school’s vast growing student body population, the staff is working hard to make sure that Becton has a plethora of activities and sports for students to participate in. Luckily, this winter those with hopes of a swim program were filled with excitement when the most recent email reached their inbox. The email stated that staff was working on “securing tentative swim time at our local YMCA, potentially beginning at 3p.m.” The email also had attached a student interest form to see how big the program would still be. 

Although the results were not immediate, Becton Swim Team has made a full return this winter. While Becton Regional never had its own swim team, well over a decade ago, there was a small partnership with Rutherford High School. This is a monumental addition to extracurriculars at Becton, because it is the first-ever Becton-Only swim team. Becton Swim Team originally had access to a pool, in East Rutherford’s Faust Intermediate School. This could have been a potential practice spot for Becton swimmers, but unfortunately during the expansion and remodeling of Faust in 2022, the pool was filled and removed. This posed a challenge for the upcoming swim team, as a pool is an evident part for the team itself. Although this was a difficult roadblock in the process, the dedication of staff and faculty shone through and made it possible for Becton Swim to practice at Meadowlands YMCA. Dr. Sforza, Superintendent and Principal at Becton Regional explains, “We are grateful to have established such a key partnership in our own backyard and look forward to plenty of Becton swim practices and meets taking place at the Meadowlands Y which will be the exclusive home to the Becton Regional Wildcats Swim Team!” 

Due to the late establishment of the Swim program, the team will unfortunately be unable to actually compete against school teams this year. Sforza describes this year as a “pilot year” for the program but states that the team will compete with various clubs throughout the area.  Sforza also states that “Our goal for the Wildcat Swim Team is to compete with other school teams at the JV and varsity level next year and season.” 

Following the addition of Maywood to Becton, the influx in students has created a plethora of opportunities that Becton Regional has never had before. With more students comes more ideas for ways to involve and engage all of the student body. When asked about growth and expansion of Becton, Sforza said, “While the needs of our students are always a top priority, the introduction of Maywood to the Carlstadt and East Rutherford Regional district has certainly enabled us to expand our athletic, extracurricular and academic programs in ways one could only imagine. Our athletic programs in particular are overflowing with student involvement. As we stated over and over again during the initial discussions of this merger, the opportunities that it will present to our students and community will be endless. This is just one small example of the positive growth that smart decision making can have on young students. The collective experiences we are now able to, and will continue to be able to, provide ALL our students will prove to change the trajectory of their lives well into the future.” 

First-year Physical Education teacher at Becton Regional, Mr. Kevin Hoagland, is proudly named the head Swim Coach. Although many students are familiar with Hoagland as a Girls’ Volleyball coach, he is excited to take on this new role and says, “I really want to help our students achieve their goals anyway I can.” Hoagland swam competitively from a young age through various swim programs in Central New Jersey and is really looking forward to “our swimmers becoming better day-by-day and crafting their skills. I’m looking forward to getting our swimmers ready for the jump to NJIC competition next year.”  Hoagland ends on a high note explaining that he could not imagine a better place to be an educator giving high praise to staff and students alike and how great they have been through the introduction of this new program.

New addition to Becton’s Math department, Ms. Lauren Bayersdorfer has also taken on another new role, as assistant swim coach. Although she has only been at Becton for a short time, she has nothing but positives to say, explaining that “…I have really been enjoying it! The students and staff are all very friendly and welcoming. I love coaching as it helps me get to know students more personally outside of the classroom.” Bayersdorfer explains that swimming was always part of her upbringing. She swam competitively for most of her childhood, from when she was about 6 years old until she graduated high school. She also was a lifeguard throughout most of high school, in addition to teaching swim lessons to kids. She also accredits her swimming career to her grandpa, who attended the Olympic trials for swimming explaining that he would “haul me to the pool he has in his condo complex during summers and help refine my skills.” When asked what she is most excited about for the upcoming season she notes, “I am excited to be a part of the launch of the swim program here and help build it from the ground up! Although we are not competing until next year, I am glad we have the time now to focus on building our stroke techniques and endurance. We have a small, dedicated, strong group of students, and I am excited to help them become better and stronger swimmers!” 

While the program may be young, it shows a bright future for not only swimmers, but the entirety of the student body. What started as a petition for a swim club, turned into a full-blown team just a year later. This shows the true dedication and passion for putting students first at Becton Regional, and the constant drive for new things that can be engaging and fun for everybody!