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Late Coach Guarino Honored At Millburn Flag Football Game Friday

MILLBURN, NJ — This Thanksgiving weekend, Millburn High School students and graduates are coming together to honor late Coach Carmen Guarino in the best way they know how — playing football.

This second annual flag football tournament will raise funds for pancreatic cancer in honor of Coach Guarino, who passed away in the summer of 2019.

In collaboration with The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, the tournament will take place the day after Thanksgiving on Friday, Nov. 26 from 1 p.m to 4:30 p.m.

Following Guarino’s passing in 2019, a group of MHS graduates from the class of ’13 teamed up and founded The Carmen Guarino Classic — a non-profit organization to allow Guarino’s legacy to live on at the high school and throughout the town.

Coach’s Legacy

For over 41 years, Guarino was a health and physical education teacher, but his passion for sports was shown through coaching high school teams, such as football, track & field, wrestling and bowling.

Besides coaching in Millburn, Guarino’s career brought him to different high schools across the state including Union, East Side, Manville, Bridgewater, and Livingston.

In 2000, Guarino was brought to Millburn High School to revive a struggling football program, and two years later he led the team to their first winning season in 29 years. This earned him the Independent Press “Coach of the Year,” and in 2006 he led the team to their first playoff game in school history.

Former players have talked about Guarino’s dedication to the various teams he coached.

“I tore my hamstring running and the person at the finish was Coach Guarino,” said Josh Jiminez, a co-founder of The Carmen Guarino Classic. “He gave me a hug and said, ‘You just ran the slowest in the state of New Jersey!’ His humor never pushed you down, it always lifted you up.”

Alex Schoen, also a co-founder of the organization, said, “Coach Guarino wanted to win on the field more than anyone, but he wanted his students and players to win in life even more.”

Everyone is invited to watch the 7 on 7 flag football tournament as 18 teams compete for the coveted Carmen Guarino Classic Trophy. The winning team’s members’ names will be engraved on the golden plates of the trophy.

Anyone over the age of 14 can participate in the tournament, but only seven players can be on the field at the same time. The deadline to join a team is Nov. 24. You can do so here.

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Travis Burnett

A pioneer in the flag football community, Travis helped co-found the Flag Football World Championship Tour, FlagSpin and USA Flag. Featuring 15+ years of content creation for the sport of flag football, creating and managing the largest flag football tournaments on the planet, coaching experience at the youth and adult level as well as an active player with National and World Championship level experience.

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