East Rutherford, NJ – The New York Giants and Gatorade have selected Mr. Pat Gorbatuk of Manville High School (Manville, NJ) as the Lou Rettino High School Coach of the Week for Week 2 of the 2021 season. The Manville Mustangs defeated Dunellen on the road by a score of 48-6 in their first game of the season, after having their initial season-opener against Belvidere cancelled in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. The victory was a tremendous achievement and an uplifting moment for a program that finished 2020 with a record of 0-5, and suffered significant flooding damage throughout their community just ten days prior to the game.
The Lou Rettino High School Football Coach of the Week Award is part of the Giants' continuing effort to support local youth 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 continuing commitment towards promoting youth football, developing motivated student-athletes and his overall community involvement.
In recognition of Coach Gorbatuk's selection as Coach of the Week, a $2,000 check will be granted to the school's football program from The Giants Foundation and Gatorade. He will also receive a certificate of recognition signed by Giants head coach Joe Judge.
Coach Gorbatuk is in his 11th season as head coach of the Manville High School football team, but had never had to lead his team under such significant adversity. Many of the team's thirty players suffered flood damage to their homes, and four athletes were displaced, along with many other families in town. The damage in Manville was so significant that it was visited by President Joe Biden. The team was unable to practice for several days, but the team used those moments to help clean out each other's homes and volunteered at the middle school to collect and distribute donations and water to families in need.
But after just a few days of practice, the team focused on their opportunity to do the unexpected. Led by junior running back Shawn Purcell's four touchdowns, and an amazing defensive team performance, the Mustangs gave their community a moment to celebrate with a dominant performance.
"We were in need of something to be excited about," Gorbatuk said. "At the end you saw all the players, cheerleaders, and band cheering all together. This is my 11th year as head coach and we've won some really big games, but it was really nice to get this specific win. Every single kid got on the field tonight for us. All the hard work that the kids have put in, whether it's towards football, their school work, or trying to build our community back up, it's meant a lot. Hopefully we were able to lift up a community for at least a few nights with a nice win."