Foxborough, Mass. - After a dominating 52-33 win over Springfield Central on Saturday to clinch a spot in the Division 3 Super Bowl, St. John's (Shrewsbury) High School's John Andreoli has been named this week's New England Patriots High School Coach of the Week.
In their second matchup of the season, having previously defeated Springfield Central 62-39 in September, the Pioneers were led by quarterback Steven Bucciaglia, who threw for 290 yards and three scores, and aided by a running game that found the end zone five times. The Golden Eagles hoped to take the Pioneers by surprise with an onside kick to open the game. However, St. John's recovered the kick and scored in less than a minute to take the lead - one it never relinquished for the remainder of the afternoon. Though the Golden Eagles narrowed the score to 32-21 at halftime with a touchdown as time expired, the Pioneers responded on the first drive of the third quarter with a 30-yard touchdown run by running back Dan Byers. In a high-scoring fourth quarter in which both teams found the end zone twice, St. John's was able to maintain control of the game and continue its undefeated season, moving to 11-0 on the year. With the victory, the Pioneers secured their place in the MIAA Division 3 Super Bowl where they will take on North Attleboro at Gillette Stadium on Dec. 2. Before that, they will play St. Peter-Marian in the annual Thanksgiving Day game at Holy Cross at 10:30 a.m.
Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Andre Tippett, now the team's executive director of community affairs, visited the Pioneers players and coaching staff Tuesday afternoon to present St. John's High School's football program with a $1,000 donation on behalf of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, in honor of Coach Andreoli. The visit and check presentation will be featured on the Patriots weekly television show, "Patriots All Access," which airs on Friday night at 7 p.m. on WBZ-TV in Boston and will be available immediately after on Patriots.com.
This is the 22nd year in which the Patriots 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 2017 season marks the seventh year that Tippett has taken the award on the road to visit the schools that benefit from the program.
"What a performance by the Pioneers and Coach Andreoli," Tippett said. "To win in such fashion, especially against the high level of competition in the state playoffs, speaks not only to the team's talent, but also the great preparation, coaching and leadership of Coach Andreoli and his staff. We wish St. John's the best as they close out their season on Thanksgiving and in the Super Bowl."
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 a $2,000 contribution towards the school's football program.
For the seventh 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 is encouraged to send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The New England Patriots Charitable 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.
Gatorade, a proud partner of the Patriots, is proud to support local High School Athletics. Gatorade will provide each week the Patriots Coach of the Week with complimentary product to keep his team hydrated for the rest of the season.