Tuesday was a special day for the varsity football team, as well as head coach Dave Duffy, who accepted his third New England Patriots Coach of the Week Award from former linebacker and NFL Hall of Famer Andre Tippet.
“I am just a figurehead here and I won this award, but it really goes to the kids and the assistant coaches and the school for supporting us,” Duffy said.
“Coach Duffy has put his stamp on this program. They’ve been successful and they’re playing football the right way [and] it’s a great community to be in,” Tippet said.
The award is presented once a week to a different high school football coach in New England, along with $1,000 for the school's football program. Duffy was deemed this week’s winner for his team’s , which resulted in the Rockets' third win of the season.
“This is the third time I’ve won this award. It's very nice and it’s a privilege to be picked out of all the coaches in Eastern Massachusetts,” Duffy said.
“The [Patriots' owner Robert] Kraft family has been behind youth football, football in general and high school football for a long time," Tippet said. "Obviously, we do the Super Bowls at the stadium, but the Coach of the Week has been with the stadium for about 16 years now, and I’ve had it since about 2003. I enjoy doing it. I really enjoying going out, acknowledging the coaches and the teams for great play."
NHS seniors Mark Riley and Mike Vespa said they were excited to see their coach receive the award, and to hear Tippet’s advice to the team.
“[Seeing] a hall of famer come in, giving us advice, presenting the award to our team—for the high school football team, it’s unbelievable,” Riley said. “We’re going to take that advice and use it for the rest of the season.”
“It’s great because he was talking to us, giving us some advice, and we’ve got to keep working hard,” Vespa said. “It’s one thing to hear from the coach, but another thing to hear from a Hall of Famer, which is great.”
Needham residents who weren’t able to attend the event will be able to watch the presentation on “Patriots All-Access,” which will air on Friday Oct. 7 and Sunday, Oct. 9 on WBZ-TV.
The Rockets will return to the gridiron on Sunday, Oct. 9 when they travel to Brookline for a 1:00 p.m. kick-off.