SUNGLASSES AT NIGHT FOR BUCS FANS

rbr_bucs1Football practice under the big bulbs last night at RBR, getting ready tonight’s big game against Spotswood. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It’s not often that Red Bank Regional students get a sanctioned opportunity to hang out on weekend nights on school grounds screaming and pumping their fists wildly.

This weekend is one of those times. RBR sports kick off with the Maroon and White Under The Lights Weekend as the school’s football and soccer teams invite their potential victims over for games in front of hundreds of crazed fans.

RBR athletic director Louis ‘Del’ Dal Pra says the reason for the nocturnal event, which occurs just once a season, is quite simple.

“What we’re doing is trying to get some school spirit — create a ‘Friday night lights’ atmosphere,” Dal Pra said.

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DAL PRA: A FIVE-STAR SEASON

RundownRBR players try to catch a Jackson Liberty player in a rundown in the NJSIAA Group III Central quarterfinal on May 22. The Bucs won and later advanced to the championship game, but came up short of the trophy.

What a season it was for Red Bank Regional sports.

The boy’s baseball team, led by pitching standout Jake Kalish, won the B North division and made it all the way to the NJSIAA Group III Central championship before falling to West Windsor-Plainsboro North. The team also made it to the quarterfinals of the Shore conference tournament. The girls’ softball team also won the B division and made it to the state section semifinals. The girls’ and boys’ lacrosse squads each made it to the state Group III quarterfinals. The boys’ tennis team qualified for both state and Shore conference tournaments for the first time in a long time.

Forty-four-year-old Louis Dal Pra, a Red Bank resident who last fall became the school’s athletic director, isn’t taking the credit. But he wants the local “movers and shakers” to know that RBR, which has had a reputation as something less than a sports powerhouse, is on its game.

redbankgreen bagged del Pra recently for a recap interview. We sat in the golf cart he uses to get around the RBR campus, and which he positioned strategically so he could keep his eye on a baseball game while talking.

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