NORTH ATTLEBORO — For the next year, Hilda will wear red.
The North Attleboro High football team closed out the 2022 fall season with a 17-12 win over crosstown rival Attleboro High, scoring early to take a lead that was never matched the rest of the way.
The win for the Rocketeers moves their all-time record to 64-30-8, and now makes North Attleboro head coach Mike Strachan a winner of the coveted Hilda Trophy for both sides. “It’s awesome to be a part of this program, this team, this community,” Strachan said. “I just love the rivalry that both communities can participate in.” The Rocketeers punted on their first drive on offense, but their first play on defense saw Nate Shultz run back an interception from 29 yards out to make it 7-0 with the extrapoint try. “Coming off of last week against Wakefield, it’s good to get back and play well defensively,” Strachan said. The pass, a short-yardage play to Harvie’s left trying to hit Anthony Salviati for a gain,was admittedly a bad call by Attleboro head coach Jim Winters. Despite the quick deficit, he said he was proud of how his guys bounced back quickly and put them right back in the game. “It was a play we had worked on all week and we thought we’d catch them going one way,” Winters said. “It was to Salviati, they had him triple-covered and I should’ve known better. … They shook it off and played outstanding the whole game.” A handful of punts were traded before the Rocketeers again got to Harvie, with Shultz again going up for the interception with under a minute to go in the first quarter. The turnover led to the Rocketeers scoring after the turn of the quarter, with a 43-yard screen pass to Greg Berthiaume at 11:13 to make it a 14-0 game. Berthiaume, a constant force on both sides of the ball for North Attleboro all season, suffered a broken leg on the next drive on offense for the Rocketeers. An all-star talent, Winters said it’s something you never want to see at any point. “You hate to see that,” Winters said. “It’s Thanksgiving, I don’t want that to happen. The kid had a great season, and was a factor on both sides of the ball. … It’s a shame. He had a great career at North and it’s a shame he couldn’t finish it.”

For North, the sideline went quiet quickly, but rallied back around Berthiaume’s absence with a mentality of finishing strong for their senior captain. “I think it’s important that with everything he’s put into the program, we’ve got to finish for him,” Strachan said. “We talked about finishing strong and the way you finish strong is you play right for him. I think the kids did that today.” North ended up punting that drive sans Berthiaume, and got the ball back two plays later on a third interception, this time by Chris Hanewich at the seven-minute mark of the second quarter. With Nate Shultz heavily involved in the run to bring the ball from their own 15 to Attleboro’s 12-yard line, the Rocketeers couldn’t add more points on the board ahead of halftime, as they turned the ball over on downs in the red zone with under 30 seconds
left. The game entered halftime 14-0 in favor of North. A touchdown from Attleboro on its second drive cut the difference down, with Adrian Rivera punching it home from a yard out. A missed extra point made it 14-6 at 7:20 in the third. North Attleboro’s Austin Clemente then added a 35-yard field goal at 6:30 in the fourth, adding insurance against a pesky Bombardiers squad. Showing late life, and not going down without a fight, the Bombardiers added another touchdown on a Harvie-to-Brody McKenna yard score — but failed on the 2-point conversion to make it a 17-12 game. An onside kick was recovered by North, and a 33-yard completion from Chase Frisoli to
Shultz on a third-and-29 situation put the ball past midfield to give the Rocketeers a late first down. The Big Red then kneeled out the clock to secure the win. “I’m so proud of these guys,” Winters said. “The first pass we throw is a pick-six and all of a sudden North is feeling pretty good. It didn’t deter us at all, we battled and battled. … I’m so proud of our kids, we battled all the way to the end.” Looking at the scope of the season, and the seniors who laid the groundwork for the next era of both programs, both coaches are pleased with the work that has been done to commit to the football program.
“The captains helped a lot. They bought in right away, you need that,” Winters said. “We had some setbacks, learned a few life lessons, but to their credit they understand how we want to do things now and how we want to hold ourselves accountable. … I hope they leave the field today a little more proud of the program than when they first got here.” Attleboro bids farewell to seniors Spencer Sherck, Ayden Ramirez, Logan Briggs, Cole McKenna, Aiden Hochwarter, Joseph Argenti, Adrian Alves, Ethan Lako, Casey Victorio, Frans Estime, Michael McGowan, Isaiah Miranda, Jayden Tetreault, Jaconb Wild, Jack Fitzgerald, Henderson Acevedo, David Nunes and Salviati.
North Attleboro signs off on a heavy senior class of Jovany Rivera, Reed Collins, Nathan MacDonald, Michael Simonian, Joseph Quinn, Kyle Conroy, John Gallagher, Aidan
Conrad, Julian House, Sean Boyle, Anthoy DaSilva, Harrison Gagne, Jacob Costello, Austin Dean Daniel Locke, Kaiden Leary, Brendan Brown, Liam Eberle, Zachary
Gallagher, Anthony Santucci, Jack Munley, Traic Isom, Ayden Delaney, Shultz and Berthiaume. Strachan expressed his pride and gratitude in his boys this season for all
doing their part in bringing the team to an 8-3 record and a Final Four appearance. (I’m) super-proud of the seniors, super-proud of the captains,” Strachan said. “We talk
about Delaney, Munley, Gallagher, all the seniors that contributed did great. It all came down to that this season. … They’re the reason we’re 8-3 and went to the semifinals. They know the expectation of Big Red football. I owe it all to them.”