Tag: Pat Gorbatuk

Manville football, wrestling coach Pat Gorbatuk promoted to Athletic Director

The good news is, Manville’s Pat Gorbatuk is staying in town.

But it’s bittersweet for him to leave his posts as football and wrestling coach, posts he has held for the last 12 and 16 years, respectively, to become the next Athletic Director, replacing Stephen Venuto.

On the football field, his teams went 40-72 with three playoff berths, but that came after 1-9 records the first five seasons. Since 2016, the Mustangs have been .500 or better all but two seasons, one of them the very difficult COVID year, going 35-27 in that span

In wrestling, his teams amassed 230 wins, including a 23-3 campaign this past year, as well as four division titles, three sectional finals appearance, and two state place-winners, both in the last nine years: Brian Kuhlman in 2015 and Michael Tyle in 2018.

Gorbatuk also had two stints coaching boys’ and girls’ track and field for nine seasons between 2009 and 2020.

The draw for Gorbatuk has always been the sense of community in Manville, a small town, and one of the smallest high schools in Central Jersey.

Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko talked with Gorbatuk about his new job, and the ones he leaves behind; click below to hear the interview:

Manville comeback falls short against Shore in opening round of playoffs

The Manville offense didn’t get much of anything going in the first half against Shore Friday night.

In just its fourth playoff appearance ever, the 4th-seeded Mustangs managed just 34 yards rushing and 34 yards passing against 5th-seed Shore, and got their only score – down 23-6 at half – on a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Shawn Purcell.

But in the second half, Manville launched a long scoring drive to close to 23-13, then after a big defensive stop, got to within 21-16 on a field goal.

But they could get no closer, and one of Manville’s best seasons ever had come to a close – in a South Jersey, Group 1 first-round playoff game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio – with an 8-2 mark.

The program had only reached eight wins just four times before, all in the 1960s, with a program best 9-0 mark in 1968. Purcell, QB Danny Wildgoose, and several other seniors had a great run come to a close: they went 14-5 in back-to-back seasons – 6-3 last year – the best since the combo of 1968 and 1969 saw them go 14-4.

In a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, Shore rushed for 251 yards, and rolled up 321 yards of offense, despite missing two starters. Lucas Rosa carried 15 times for 146 yards and a two-yard touchdown run. Purcell, the state’s scoring leader with 170 points, finished the night with a hard-earned 79 yards on 14 carries, but did have that 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the second quarter.

Click below for postgame reaction from Manville head coach Pat Gorbatuk and senior RB/CB/KR Shawn Purcell:

The time is now for Manville as Purcell, Wildgoose look to make history in the playoffs

Last year’s Manville team had a really good season by any stretch of the imagination.

When you consider what happened in September, when the remnants of Ida caused all-too familiar damage in town, and that the team was helping its community schlep water-logged items out of basements when it should have been practicing for and playing its first game of the season, you can call the Mustangs’ 6-3 season an amazing one.

With a record of 6-2 at the cutoff, they didn’t make the playoffs. But that was just more fuel for the fire.

Armed with a better schedule – and the smart pickup of Shore Conference opponent Keyport in Week Zero by veteran head coach Pat Gorbatuk, now in his 12th season – this year’s team is 8-1 heading into Friday night’s South Jersey Group 1 opening round playoff game.

Not only did Manville make the playoffs, they made it as a four-seed, and earned just the second home playoff game in school history. They will take on 5th-seed Shore Regional (5-3) at 7 pm Friday, in a game you can hear on Central Jersey Sports Radio live from Ned Panfile Stadium. Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe will have the call. Click here to listen.

Last year’s stars were runningbacks Brandon Flores and Shawn Purcell, along with QB Danny Wildgoose. Flores has gone on to wrestle at Alvernia Univeristy in Reading, PA, but Purcell and Wildgoose – now seniors – are still here.

And they are hoping tonight – and for at least two more games – to put an exclamation point on careers that have aligned with the best two-year stretch in Manville football history since the 1960s, when the Mustangs went 9-0 in 1968 – their third and last undefeated season – and 5-4 the following season, for a 14-4 mark, equaling the combined mark (so far) of this season and last season.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko preview the Manville-Shore first-round playoff game with Mustangs’ head coach Pat Gorbatuk:

Honors go to Sims, Kelley, Laverty, Seamon, among those honored as Coach Matt Bastardi’s “Elite Performers of the Week” for Week 7

Heading into the final week of the regular season, we have more honors from Coach Matt Bastardi of Elite QB and his “Elite Performers of the Week” for Week 7. This week’s quarterback award winners are Matt Sims of Brearley, Dylan Kelley of Watchung Hills, Connor Laverty of Bernards, and Ryan Seamon of the Hillsborough JV.

Metuchen runningback Evan Toth also is honored as a skill position player.

A former high school and college quarterback who has either played the position or coached it for over 40 years, Elite QB trains players at all position levels, with an emphasis on QBs.

Click below to listen to hear Matt Bastardi of Elite QB highlight his “Elite Performers of the Week” for Week 7:

Honors go to Hollomon, Kelley, Laverty, Seamon, Fitzsimmons as Coach Matt Bastardi’s “Elite Performers of the Week” for Week 6

Another week, and more honors for Coach Matt Bastardi of Elite QB and his “Elite Performers of the Week” for Week 6. This week’s quarterback cast include Dylan Kelley of Watchung Hills, Connor Laverty of Bernards, Ryan Seamon of the Hillsborough JV, and – outside the Big Central but still in Central Jersey – Mike Hollomon of Pingry. At the skill position, Brendan Fitzsimmons of Brearley was also recognized.

And as a team, Week 6 honors went to Manville and head coach Pat Gorbatuk

A former high school and college quarterback who has either played the position or coached it for over 40 years, Elite QB trains players at all position levels, with an emphasis on QBs.

Click below to listen to hear Matt Bastardi of Elite QB highlight his “Elite Performers of the Week” for Week 6:

Manville picks up a solid Week Zero win against Shore Conference foe Keyport.

Out-of-conference matchups are pretty typical in Week Zero, and can be a good measuring stick against potential future playoff opponents.

The Mustangs got out of the gate fast, 16-0, before allowing a 76-yard kick return to make it 16-6 at the half.

Manville picked up a good win Friday night against one of those teams, Keyport of the Shore Conference, was 6-3 a year ago

Senior Shawn Purcell was responsible for the first three Manville scores, with a safety on a blocked punt out the back of the end zone, then touchdown catches of 16 and nine yards from veteran QB Danny Wildgoose, who may even be a more impactful player on defense, another story for another time.

Wildgoose added a three-yard run after Keyport ame out of the break with a score to cut it to 16-12 (and Manville blocked the PAT), then Purcell answered another Keyport score with his third TD of the game, this time an 8-yard run.

Wildgoose threw for 98 yards and two scores, while Purcell rushed for 100 yards even.

Click below to hear Manville head coach Pat Gorbatuk discuss the Mustangs’ season-opening win:

Manville explodes for 51-27 win over Bound Brook to stop 11-game skid vs. Crusaders, keep playoff hopes alive

Rivalry game. Must-win for the playoffs.

No problem for Manville.

The Mustangs staked themselves to a 13-0 lead and never looked back, leading for all but 1:33 of the game (when the score was 0-0), and kept their playoff hopes alive with a 51-27 win over Bound Brook in the Big Central Game of the Week driven by Autoland on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

The 51 points scored by Manville was a program record in the series, topping 41-point efforts in wins over the Crusaders in 1986 and 2001.

The win also snapped an 11-game losing streak in the series dating back to 2010, though Bound Brook still leads the series 43-20 with 2 ties.

Junior runningback Shawn Purcell was the Autoland Player of the Game, rushing for a career high 224 yards, with three touchdown runs – of 36, 1, and 35 yards.

The victory moves Manville to 6-1, but it remains to be seen how much the win will move the Mustangs up in the South 1 playoff standings. They entered the night tied for 18th with Buena (0-5), two UPR points out of a playoff spot.

Central Jersey Sports Radio will have unofficial updates to all sections early Saturday on our site at cjsportsradio.com.

Click below for postgame reaction from Dom Savino down on the field with the Mustangs:

Junior runningback Shawn Purcell

Manville head coach Pat Gorbatuk

Manville faces must-win on the road against rival Bound Brook to keep playoff hopes alive

It continues to be a memorable season for Manville, which is 5-1 for just the second time in the last 15 years.

A year removed from a winless campaign, the Mustangs have made a swift turnaround thanks to their rushing attack. Manville’s Wing-T offense, which is run-heavy by design, has churned out over 250 rushing yards per game. Junior running back Shawn Purcell has paced the offense with 1,121 all-purpose yards and 15 touchdowns in a breakout year.

And yet, Manville is one of the 132 teams who sit outside the playoff picture, currently residing in 18th place in ther South Group 1 supersection. And they’re one of only four teams in the entire state who might not make the playoffs, but have two or fewer losses.

On the second-to-last weekend of the regular season, Manville prepares to face Bound Brook and quarterback Patrick LePoidevin, who leads the Big Central with 1,536 passing yards, in the Big Central Game of the Week driven by Mark montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland.

Kickoff is set for 7 pm from Bound Brook’s LaMonte Field; join Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino for all the action with pregame set for 6:45.

Click here to listen to the live broadcast for free.

Click below to hear Dom Savino’s conversation with Manville head coach Pat Gorbatuk:

This Week in the Big Central – Episode 9: The Home Stretch

Episode 9 of “This Week in the Big Central,” driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland, focuses on the push to the playoffs just one week out from Cutoff Weekend.

Mike Pavlichko looks back at the week gone by and the playoff implications of some of the Week Seven games, then examines who’s in – and who’s on the bubble – down the home stretch of the season.

We hear from founding sponsor Elite QB, with Coach Matt Bastardi’s “Elite Performers of the Week,” and a look at the Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week, Montgomery’s Alex Benitez, who caught the ball, ran the ball, kicked the ball and intercepted the ball in a win over Scotch Plains-Fanwood.

Mike wraps it up with a look at the Week Eight slate.

Manville defense holds late, keys big win over Dayton, fueling Mustgans’ playoff push

Quarterback Danny Wildgoose threw three touchdown passes, and Shawn Purcell did what he does – with a TD catch and a TD run – but the defense saved the day Saturday afternoon for Manville.

After going ahead 28-27 with under nine minutes to play, the Mustangs used two big defensive stands to hold off Dayton, for a win that moves Manville to 3-1.

The game was played at Scotch Plains-Fanwood, with Dayton’s field having suffered storm damage from Ida.

With four games left on the schedule – three of which Manville would be favored in against opponents with a combined 1-14 record – the Mustangs should have a good shot at the playoffs, unless the system of needing to play strong opponents works against them.

Be that as it may, it’s still one game at a time for a team whose hometown was devastated by Ida’s remnants just a few weeks ago, but which has fought back and persevered as always in the face of adversity.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk about the Dayton win with Manville head coach Pat Gorbatuk: