FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – – Following a 14-13 victory over Lincoln-Sudbury, the Needham Rocket's head coach Doug Kopsco has been named this week's New England Patriots High School Coach of the Week.
Described by local media as a "non-league slobber knocker," the game showcased the Rockets' resilience and determination, embodying the essence of an old-school, smash-mouth style battle. This win marked Needham's second home victory of the 2023 season.
Coach Kopsco's leadership and the players' unwavering commitment to one another were evident throughout the four quarters of intense competition. The team's hunger for success and tireless effort on the field have solidified them as one of the best defensive units.
With just one play remaining and the game on the balance, the Needham defense stood poised and stopped a two-point play to secure the victory.
On Tuesday, Andre Tippett, former linebacker of the Patriots, College, and Pro Football Hall of Fame, who currently serves as the Executive Director of Community Affairs for the team, met with the Needham Rockets. During this encounter, he had the privilege of presenting a generous $1,000 donation to the Rockets' football program. This significant contribution was made on behalf of the Kraft family and the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, as a tribute to Coach Kopsco. The entire event, including Tippett's visit and the donation presentation, will be showcased on the Patriots' weekly television program, "Patriots All Access." You can catch this episode airing on Friday night at 7 p.m. on WBZ-TV in Boston, and it will also be readily available for viewing on Patriots.com shortly thereafter.
"Victory always goes to the team who believes in it the most and believes in it the longest." Tippett said. "Needham was impressive in its victory."
This is the 28th year in which the Patriots have joined the National Football League in conducting the High School Coach of the Week program, which recognizes outstanding high school coaches and promotes youth football throughout New England. The 2023 season marks the 12th year that Tippett has taken the award on the road to visit the schools that benefit from the program. At the conclusion of the fall, one of the weekly winners will be named the New England Patriots High School Coach of the Year and will receive an additional $2,000 contribution towards the school's football program.
For the 13th straight year, the Patriots will also be accepting nominations for High School Coach of the Week honors. Those who wish to nominate a high school football coach in New England who leads a team to an exceptional weekly performance or reaches a personal career milestone are encouraged to send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. All nominations must be submitted following a team's Friday night or Saturday afternoon game to be considered for that week's Coach of the Week award.
The Patriots Foundation is the non-profit through which the Patriots support charitable and philanthropic organizations throughout New England. This support comes in the form of direct grants, in-kind donations and player appearances. The foundation assists a variety of charitable organizations and programs throughout New England by supporting their educational, family and health initiatives.