Manville Athletics Gives Back to Mr. Ned Panfile Senior


Hannah Janes

This past weekend of January 20th and 21st, Manville Athletics took to the stage to compete against North Brunswick and Carteret to raise money for Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement. The disease causes unintended or uncontrollable movements such as shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination. The disorder gradually worsens over time and as it progresses, it worsens the ability to speak and walk. This specific disorder has impacted the personal culture of Manville sports as a whole. In early April the Manville community was impacted by the loss of Ned Panfile Sr. after battling Parkinson’s disease. 


Mr. Panfile played a vital role in the progression of sports in the town of Manville and in shaping the town into the tough, blue-collar athletes that represent the school district today. He was initially hired by the district as a teacher and assistant football coach. Mr. Panfile spent five years as the assistant coach before stepping into his reign as head football coach, during which he led the Manville football team to their only undefeated season of 9-0 in 1968. After coaching his team to overall triumph, Mr. Panfile was named The Plainfield Courier News Football Coach of the Year. Along with his numerous football victories, Mr. Panfile was also a decorated baseball coach for Manville. He was named the 1968 Baseball Coach of the Year after leading the team to Central Group 1 and Mountain Valley Conference Titles. Mr. Panfile also coached the freshmen team at Princeton University, but ultimately Manville meant too much to him. In the year 1999, the main athletic field of MHS was named Ned Panfile Stadium and renamed with the field renovations in 2010. Losing Ned Panfile Sr. impacted many across the town and took a toll on the community as a whole, hence the need to commemorate him in such a huge way like dedicating the weekend to his memory and raising money in his name. 


To begin the memorializing weekend, the Mustangs’ wrestling team took the stage and faced North Brunswick, the night also highlighted the seniors of the team. The wrestlers came out victorious with a 51-22 victory and kickstarted the fundraising. There were carnival games, face painting, donations, Parkinson’s t-shirts for sale, food and drinks all featured at the wrestling match to raise not only money but excitement and awareness. 

After the wrestlers took the first win of the weekend the girl’s and boy’s basketball teams took over the spotlight and set out Saturday morning and afternoon to finish the goal of the weekend, memorializing Ned Panfile Sr. The same events were featured outside of the gym while the girl’s basketball team started the day. After a close game for the whole 32 minutes, the girls came out triumphant 44-31 and set the path for the boys. Finishing the game schedule the boy’s basketball team also led a tight game but above all, of course, won the game 51-47. After the excitement of winning for a good cause, the girl’s basketball team ended their fundraiser with a visit from the Grinch and a game of knockout for the community with prizes at the end. Wrapping up the front-page weekend, about $800 was raised in the name of Ned Panfile Sr., teams were cheered for, and the community was brought together once again, to commemorate Manville royalty.