Pro Football Hall of Famer and Patriots executive director of community affairs Andre Tippett visited Latin Academy Tuesday afternoon to honor the school's football coach, Rocco Zizza, as Patriots High School Football Coach of the Week.
The award comes on the heels of the Dragons' 24-10 victory at Dorchester Friday night.
“Coach, congratulations on a big win this past week,” Tippett said during the presentation. “It was such a big win and victory for the team, we chose you as our Patriots Coach of the Week.
“With this award comes $1,000 for your football program, and I just wanted to say congratulations to you. Great job.”
Zizza thanked the administration, his coaching staff, and his players.
“A special thanks to the players, past, present and future, particularly this year’s seniors,” he said. “Thank you very much.”
After the brief ceremony in the school’s auditorium, senior quarterback Kyle Dance said it was special to watch his coach get the award.
“It meant a lot since he has been coaching me for my whole career in high school,” Dance said. “I think it’s good for him to get an award and also the other coaches because it’s not just him, it’s the other coaches that are involved, too, so it’s good for him but it’s good for the other coaches, too.”
Tippett said he enjoys giving the weekly award to inner-city teams when he can.
“We look at everybody from all divisions, all leagues,” he said. “We specifically like the inner-city kids. We know that to do what they do and go up against what they go up against, and being a student, and to do it out on the football field, is, in my opinion, in the Kraft family's, it’s a great honor.
“It says a lot about their character and who they are as players and as coaches. So we look at teams that don’t normally get that recognition also.”
Tippett said the Patriots have been giving the award for 10 weeks during the football season for the last 15 or 20 years, and they finish the season by awarding a Coach of the Year. Last year, Dorchester's Rich Moran won a Coach of the Week award.
“It wasn’t like they beat an easy team, they beat a tough team, we look at all of that,” Tippett said of Latin Academy’s win against Dorchester on Friday. “But, you know, we like to look toward the schools in the inner city. They deserve recognition just like everybody else.”
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