East Rutherford, NJ – The New York Giants and Gatorade have selected Mr. Matt Cunningham of Brewster High School (Brewster, NY) as the Lou Rettino High School Coach of the Week for Week 2 of the 2022 season. Coach Cunningham is the head coach of the Brewster Bears girls high school flag football team that won the Section I championship in the inaugural season of the new spring sport. The Brewster Bears ended the year undefeated, including winning the championship game over Scarsdale by a score of 12-2. The Giants were pleased to help support the launch of the pilot league for girls flag in the Spring of 2021 with eight teams participating.
The Lou Rettino High School Football Coach of the Week Award is part of the Giants' continuing effort to support local high school football programs. The Giants elected to name the award in memory of former Union High School (NJ) coach, Lou Rettino, for his fine commitment to the game of football, his community and the betterment of his athletes' lives. Each week during the high school football season, the Giants selected one area high school head coach as the Coach of the Week winner. The selection is based on the coach's continued commitment towards promoting youth football, developing motivated student-athletes and contributing overall to their community.
In recognition of Coach Cunningham's selection as Coach of the Week, a $2,000 check will be granted to the school's flag football program from The Giants Foundation and Gatorade. Cunningham will also receive a certificate of recognition signed by Giants head coach Brian Daboll and will be honored at a dinner following the season, as well as a 2023 pre-season home game.
In addition to coaching the girls flag team, Coach Cunningham has been a social studies teacher in the Brewster Central School District for 17 years. He is passionate about creating opportunities for girls in the football space and collaborated with Assistant Coach Mike Castaldo to pave the way.
"I have been humbled to work with so many wonderful student athletes," Cunningham shared. He continued, "This year's girls flag football truly exemplifies our definition of student/athletes. Working alongside fellow coach Mike Castaldo, these girls took on the challenge of learning and competing in a new sport and excelled." Cunningham recognized the resilience of his players, recognizing, "All the credit for our team's success goes to these girls who worked so hard throughout the season to bring home a championship and really make the community very proud. I am so thankful to the New York Giants for affording Brewster and others the opportunity to embrace playing football; It has been a rewarding experience."
In celebration of Brewster's amazing season, the entire team was invited to the Giants home preseason game on Aug. 21 to play a halftime exhibition game against the Binghamton Patriots, who are the champions of Section IV's inaugural flag season. The teams were also able to enjoy pre-game warmups from the sidelines and were a part of the Giants player introductions. "The whole ride has been unbelievable," Cunningham shared prior to kickoff.