By: Christian Buonpastore
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD- When Gattaca football coach Manuel Galarza first set out to start football for community college in New Jersey, he never thought he’d have such a hard time expanding the sport to other schools.
“Gattaca”, which is a club team for Mercer County College is currently the only community college football team in New Jersey. Gattaca competes with Division 1 and 2 JV football teams.
Galarza who started the program in April 2010, is passionate about what he is doing.
“I work for free, I believe in these kids, they need a chance to succeed and be great”, said Galarza after emphatically explaining the effort he puts in to the Gattaca football program.
Galarza said he has spoken to athletic directors all over the state of New Jersey and he shared his thoughts.
“They just don’t care, they don’t want to deal with the injury and insurance issues.” Athletic directors at any school have to deal with insurance and the cost that comes with it.
The athletic director for Camden County College Peter Dilorenzo said, “I’ve never been approached with the idea, small schools just don’t do football” he continued “Most junior colleges don’t do it because we don’t charge for sports, and it is just too much money. Some schools charge and make money. We do not and insurance alone is enough reason.”
Galarza continues to push for football to be expanded to more community schools in New Jersey.
According to Dr. Dilorenzo it’s just not feasible because “Building stadiums, equipment, scholarships; community schools just don’t have that kind of money.”