A pretty big day yesterday at New Bedford High School, as Patriots Hall of Famer Andre Tippett was spotted walking the halls. Tippett was in the house to surprise Whalers head coach Mark DeBrito. DeBrito was named New England Patriots High School Coach of the Week yesterday for his work with the football team.

DeBrito has led the team to an undefeated 4-0 record so far this season. The Patriots legend told the team yesterday that he thought it had the potential to do some major things. The Patriots Hall of Famer told the team that the New Bedford Whalers program reminded him a whole lot of his high school football program in Newark, New Jersey.

Coach DeBrito has had some ups and downs since taking over as head coach five years ago. Back in 2016, the team sunk to a 1-11 record, but DeBrito and the Whalers have since found their groove with this group of players. The Whalers have put together 10 wins out of their last 11 games.

High school sports are a big commitment for players and coaches. It is terrific to see the New England Patriots doing the right thing and honoring the adults who invest so much time into making high school sports as enriching as it is. As Andre Tippett said yesterday, high school sports are so much more than winning and losing games. Programs like the New Bedford Whalers football team give kids grit that they carry onto every aspect of their lives in the future.

Tippett currently serves as the Executive Director of Community Affairs for the New England Patriots.

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