AUBURN, Mass. – It’s not every day you see a New England Patriots Hall of Famer walk around Auburn High School. But when the high school football team continues to be so dominant, it’s eventually going to attract Patriots’ representatives.
Andre Tippett, who played 12 years at linebacker for the Patriots in the 1980s and 90s and was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008, presented Auburn head coach Jeff Cormier with this week’s “High School Coach of the Week” award on Tuesday morning in the high school gym.
“Based on a very good Thanksgiving day game and an outstanding season going 11-0, on behalf of the Kraft family and the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, we’d like to present you with this week’s award,” said Tippett, who is executive director of community affairs for the Patriots.
On Thursday, the Rockets dominated Oxford, 42-8, in its traditional Thanksgiving game, which gave the Rockets a perfect regular season at 11-0.
While the award was for last week, all the focus at Tuesday’s award presentation was on Tuesday night’s semifinal playoff game against Hudson.
“The most important thing is tonight,” Cormier said. “This is icing on the cake, but don’t lose sight of tonight. I’d rather grab a win tonight than anything else.
“Thank you guys very much for all your hard work,” Cormier added to his players and coaches. “Congratulations to you guys, and thank you very much.”
Tippett also awarded Cormier and the football program $1,000.
“So after you guys take care of business tonight and this weekend, you guys will be able to purchase new jerseys,” Tippett said.
Athletic Director William Garneau said the award is a “great honor for the team, program and for his coaching staff.”
“With Jeff, it’s always all about the kids and the effort that the rest of the staff puts in, so congratulations to him,” Garneau said.
Also on Tuesday in Auburn, the Patriots filmed a weekly segment for “Patriots All-Access,” which will be aired on WBZ-TV at 7 p.m. on Friday..
Every week for the past 17 seasons, the New England Patriots have joined the NFL in honoring a high school football coach of the week, which recognizes outstanding high school coaches and promotes youth football throughout New England.
Tippett oversees the program as part of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation’s commitment to youth football initiatives.