Bridgedale Academy Blog

    Wednesday, August 29, 2018

    Get 37 Weeks of Hockey Camp

    Every Year Parents Scramble to get their sons in Hockey Camps

    by Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy


    Isn't there a better way?

    Every summer, hundreds of hockey camps are operating all over North America. And no matter what skills your hockey-playing child needs to work on, there are camps out there for you.

    There are camps for speed, camps for stick handling, camps for shooting, camps for checking, camps for “power” skating, camps for defensemen, etc. 

    Most of these camps are week-long camps, and with each camp comes the promise of positive results.

    So my question is: If positive results can come from attending a 1-week hockey camp, what kind of results could you expect from 37 weeks of hockey camp?


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    Saturday, August 25, 2018

    Bridgedale Grad Josh Lopina Commits to UMass Amherst

    On a Hockey Scholarship

    by Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy

    Bridgedale Academy grad Josh Lopina has given his verbal commitment to play his Division 1 NCAA hockey at UMass Amherst

    Josh is an outstanding forward who recently won a USA Hockey National Championship as a member of the Chicago Mission's U16 team. Josh becomes the 13th Bridgedale grad to earn his D1 scholarship, and the first to commit to UMass.

    (Click to see all Bridgedale's college commitments.)

    Josh, who will compete in junior hockey this season for the Lincoln Stars of the United States Hockey League, was also a High Honors student at Bridgedale.

    "Josh has good hockey sense in addition to his strong athletic abilities," says Anders Sorensen, Josh's coach at the Chicago Mission U16s last season. "He possesses a very strong two-way game combined with a great compete level."

    "The more competitive the game becomes, the more Josh excels," added Sorensen.

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    Saturday, August 18, 2018

    Thinking inside the box

    Creativity might come from thinking outside the box, but fundamentals come from thinking inside it

    By Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy


    How do you explain a generational player like Wayne Gretzky?

    The first time I saw Wayne Gretzky play hockey was at the old Chicago Stadium. He was 18 years old at the time.

    I remember thinking how his approach to playing the game was so "unusual."

    Unusual ... and unusually good. 

    Even then he was so unbelievably creative. It was as if he'd learned the game on another planet.

    He seemed to be the very definition of "thinking outside the box."

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    Friday, August 17, 2018

    Bridgedale Grad Jack Devine Commits to Denver

    On a Hockey Scholarship

    by Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy

    Bridgedale Academy grad Jack Devine has given his verbal commitment to play his Division 1 NCAA hockey at Denver University

    Jack, an outstanding forward who is recognized nationally at the Bantam Major level, becomes the 12th Bridgedale grad to have earned his D1 scholarship.

    (Click to see all Bridgedale's college commitments.)

    He was also a High Honors student at Bridgedale.

    "Jack Devine is on his way to becoming the epitome of a team leader whose play does the talking. A Messier type center, he can play any way you like him to. Skilled, tenacious and gritty, you get the full 200ft from Jack," says Gino Cavallini, coach of the Chicago Mission Bantam Major 03s team for which Jack competed last season.

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    Thursday, August 2, 2018

    An Open Letter to Young Hockey Players

    Your parents sacrifice so you can play hockey

    By Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy


    To "All you young hockey players out there:"

    Dear hockey player:

    I wanted to give you a few things to think about:

    • Your parents are making sacrifices for you

    1) It takes a lot of effort and determination to do what your parents do. They work hard to be good at their jobs so they can feed you, buy you clothes and put a roof over your head. And you should always remember, and respect, that they work hard to earn their money. 

    2) Some of the money they earn (a lot of it in fact) they put toward your hockey. (Always remember this is money they could have used to pay for other things.)

    3) They also drive you all over the place so you can play hockey (evening practices, early mornings on weekends, travel for tournaments, etc.). This is their valuable time and energy, that they give to you. And it all adds up.

    But here’s the thing: your parents love you and want the best for you (including at hockey), and so they willingly make these sacrifices and are (almost always) glad to do these things for you.

    • Your parents want you to get a good education

    1) As much as you (and your parents) might love your hockey, they know that your academics must come first.

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    Tuesday, June 12, 2018

    The Value of the Bridgedale Experience

    What makes Bridgedale unique to parents?

    By Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy


    Absolute confidence that Bridgedale is delivering on its promises.

    Recently, a number of Bridgedale Academy parents and teachers got together with a marketing professional to conduct what is called a Value Proposition exercise. We talked about what Bridgedale is, and what it could be. 

    Sixteen (16) Bridgedale Academy parents contributed their time and ideas to the exercise, as did most of Bridgedale's teaching staff.

    The purpose of the exercise was to determine not only what made Bridgedale unique, but also what we could possibly do to make the Bridgedale Experience even better.

    Amy Holsinger of Project Enroll, who conducted the exercise, concluded there was “a general sense of satisfaction and happiness expressed by” the Bridgedale parents, noting there was an “absolute confidence that the school is delivering on a number of promises.” 

    Among these promises delivered were “a solid Classical education, exceptional teachers, attentive staff members, the knowledge that their sons are happy and highly challenged, and a high-quality hockey experience.”

    Amy said that what “resonated” for her was that Bridgedale is not just a “hockey school” and that “leadership, tenacity, ownership, accountability and a collaborative spirit are just a few of the many benefits young men will receive from a Bridgedale Academy education.”

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    Monday, June 11, 2018

    Bridgedale Parent Testimonial June 11th 2018

    Awesome job Bridgedale!

    By Joanne Smith, Bridgedale Academy Mom


    He is so happy and thriving thanks to your guidance, help and grooming.

    I have been thinking about Bridgedale and all of our friends there that helped Ryan achieve a goal of his. I wanted to send you a very big THANK YOU!

    Ryan loves Culver. He is in exactly the right place.

    He is so happy and thriving thanks to your guidance, help and grooming.

    It's so nice that he still gets to see (Bridgedale English teacher) Mrs. Kuhl (also a Culver mom) occasionally. He loves to see a friendly “Mom” face when away!  Thank you for being so good to him.

    I thought you might enjoy a picture of our guy celebrating and honoring Culver's 2018 Graduates!! 

    Ryan (on the left in this photo) has his military game-face on and so he doesn’t have a smile.

    But I can assure you he has so much pride and happiness being the stoic Culver cadet.

    (And Mrs. Kuhl, congratulations to you, your husband and of course your 2018 Culver graduate son!)


    Here he is on his horse!!  

    Thank you again for everything you do!

    This is a heartfelt thank you.  The confidence and happiness Ryan has had at Culver and while at Bridgedale have transformed him.

    I will never forget what you and the teachers have done for him. You are a part of who he is today!


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    Thursday, June 7, 2018

    Bridgedale Parent Testimonial June 7th 2018

    The best decision we have ever made for him

    By Val Rivelli, Businesswoman, Bridgedale Academy Mom


    I can't say enough about the education he received.

    Deciding to have Dominick attend Bridgedale was the best decision we have ever made for him.
    Thank you for all you have done for Dom. I can’t say enough about the education he received.
    We are sad to be leaving, but you all have greatly prepared Dom for whatever comes next. 
    Thank you again,
    Val Rivelli
    Val Rivelli appears by permission. She works in the real estate business.  
    Val's son Dominick is a highly-ranked 03 AAA forward who recently graduated from Bridgedale Academy. Dominick has competed for the Chicago Mission Hockey Club for the past fo
    ur seasons. 

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    Tuesday, May 29, 2018

    Bridgedale Parent Testimonial May 29th 2018

    Our son is flourishing in the smaller class size

    By Andy Olson, Businessman, Bridgedale Academy Dad


    He is not just excelling at Bridgedale - he is exceeding!


    Sending Jake to Bridgedale Academy for his 8th grade year was the best decision we ever made for our son from both an academic and athletics perspective. 

    Although we had been warned that he may "burn out" (mentally or physically) on hockey, we actually found the contrary to be true. Jake's endurance and stamina have dramatically increased as the school year has progressed. 

    I can also see significant improvement in his skating, including very noticeable advancements in his goalie movements. We attribute his remarkable improvement in his quickness, explosiveness, and fluidity of movement on the ice and in the net to the top-notch athletic/hockey training offered at Bridgedale. 

    Simply put, Jake is a much better and well conditioned goalie/hockey player now than when he started at Bridgedale 9 months ago.


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    Saturday, May 26, 2018

    Bridgedale Parent Testimonial May 24th 2018

    Who goes to a school to play sports?

    By Tillie Bruss, Landscape Designer, Bridgedale Academy Mom


    The concept was foreign to us ... (but now) he has asked more than once to stay after school to study.


    "I know this is weird, but he goes to a hockey school.”

    That's how I start every conversation about my son's school.

    Because, lets face it, it's weird.

    I went to Catholic grade school and high school and so did my husband. All four of our kids were in Catholic school; that's just what we thought was normal.  

    The problem was that our son was struggling. 

    My husband and I debated what to do; his grades were low, he didn't want to study, he didn't want to do homework and we just couldn't keep doing the same thing - there was no way he was being prepared for high school. 

    When we were forwarded the Bridgedale Academy info from a friend, we were initially reluctant - who goes to a school to play sports? The concept was so foreign to us. I mean it's all fine and good to skate and train every day but what kind of education would you get?

    After much handwringing we decided to try Bridgedale. 

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