Attleboro High
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This week's Varsity football game, against King Philip Regional High School at Attleboro High School, has been rescheduled to Saturday, October 25th at 12PM

Former Bombardier Setting Records for Stonehill

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

With 8:16 remaining in the fourth quarter at Bethpage Stadium, Nate Robitaille hauled in a 17-yard touchdown pass from Tom Sydeski to pull Stonehill within two points of LIU-Post in a critical road game. It was also the 23rd touchdown reception of Robitaille’s Stonehill career, which broke the career mark set by Dan Cahill in 1996.

At the time, the historic significance of the catch was lost on the senior wide receiver.

“When it first happened, I really didn’t think much of it,” he said by phone last week. “We’ve got a new offense that’s been struggling this season, so it was good to get into the end zone and it didn’t hit me until after.”

Stonehill coach Robert Talley was not surprised that Robitaille had no idea what the touchdown meant beyond the scoreboard and its immediate impact on the game.

“He’s more worried about winning football games than breaking records,” said Talley. “I think Nate was invested in trying to win the football game and that’s where Nate’s focus was; where the team’s focus was. Afterwards, obviously, it was a much bigger deal.”

Four years ago, when Robitaille made his way to Easton as an athletically gifted, but very raw football player, Talley and his staff had no idea that they had just recruited a potential record-breaker. Although he had played some receiver as a sophomore in high school, Robitaille’s final two years at Attleboro High were spent as a quarterback more often than not making plays with his feet rather than his arm.

Talley reflected, “We put him into a workout [as a freshman] and, you know, he didn’t catch the ball incredibly well. Athletically, we knew what we were getting and he’s worked on all the little details of being a receiver.”

Robitaille chuckled when he was asked if four years ago he could have imagined that he could go down as the best receiver in the program’s history.

“It’s every little kid’s dream to play at the next level and stuff but my freshman year I didn’t play much and I didn’t think this would all happen,” he remarked.

He added, “Coming in my coaches asked what I wanted to do while I was here and I said that I wanted to be the best football player that I can be…They really helped me in my four years here and just to see it on the field blossom and get the notoriety that I’ve had is a great feeling.”

FIVE YEARS AGO Robitaille walked into DoubleACS, the Attleboro cable access television station that at the time covered every Bombardiers football game, and said that he wanted to create a highlight video. Robitaille was not a heavily recruited player in high school and he wanted to reach out to coaches and find a way to showcase his talents and maybe get a workout or a meeting that could lead to a chance to play in college.

He came in before or after basketball practice to learn editing with Final Cut and to sift through the hours of game footage that DoubleACS had from his senior season. He knew that it was unlikely that he would be able to play quarterback at the next level and was trying to highlight the athletic ability that made him a star on the gridiron and the basketball court. 
Robitaille extended his record with a TD catch this week.
“That process when I was a senior really made me realize that I can do a lot of stuff when I put my mind to it,” he explained. “That whole process of getting recruited and promoting myself…even my dad always harps on it, how I did that, and he’s so proud of me.”


Unlike many recruits, Robitaille had to work to get his collegiate opportunity. It was not handed to him; he had to to make it happen himself.

The video worked. He got noticed by area colleges and started going on campus visits to find the best fit for him. The willingness to work and to create his own chance is a personality trait that has endured into his Stonehill career and enabled Robitaille to go from an athlete without a position to a receiver that his coach acknowledges the team wants to get the ball in any way it can.

“I think he feels that he has something to prove. He plays with a little bit of a chip on his shoulder,” said Talley, adding, “He’s worked really hard in the offseason to become the receiver that he is.”

The coach continued, “Obviously, we’re really happy he chose to come to Stonehill and I think it’s worked out well for both sides.”

THE TRANSITION FROM QUARTERBACK to receiver is not an easy process, as Robitaille found out right away. He had to know his route, read the coverage, and at the same time watch the ball to make sure he did not miss the snap. Coming from an offense that was predicated on running the ball, there were also techniques that he had to learn about getting in and out of cuts and making sure to catch the ball with his hands.

But, form and technique can be taught. What could not be taught was the athletic ability that Robitaille brought to the position and what his coach believes separates him from most other Division II receivers.

“His burst -- he can really change direction, change speeds really quickly and I think that’s what kind of separates him from other receivers in our league,” said Talley, who is in his ninth season as head coach. “He has another gear where people can be in a great defensive call but because of his ability he’s able to really change the game.”

The work that Robitaille put in on the practice field and in the film room has paid off in games and earned him notoriety across the country. He was named a NE-10 All-Conference player after his junior season and named to several publications’ All-Super Region 1 second teams.

“Coach always says to work on the little things and a lot of good things will happen and that’s what I’ve been trying to focus on like getting in and out of breaks correctly, catching the ball with my hands, getting upfield, all the little things,” said Robitaille.

He added, “It was all new coming in, so just the growth from that from my freshman year not playing very much to now being seen as one of the top players in the nation is a good feeling.”

In 2012, the Skyhawks took on nationally ranked New Haven in a game that was broadcast across the country by CBS Sports. Stonehill lost 45-41, but it was a big game for the then sophomore receiver who caught two touchdown passes in the game. It was a coming out of sorts for Robitaille to gain attention outside the region.

He explained, “I know they had a handout that showed cities all over the country that had the game playing and even people that our family knows said they were in bars and had the game on. It was just an awesome experience.”

The attention is growing for Robitaille and he is hopeful that it could lead to a chance at the next level. He noted that he had worked out for the Washington Redskins and Arizona Cardinals at a camp at Bentley and that he had scouts from the New England Patriots and Redskins at games this fall. It would still be a long shot for a DII player to make that jump, but it is one that he is working to achieve.

Robitaille said, “That’s what I want to do and that’s what I keep pushing for, so I hope they see something that they like and stuff happens for me, but that’s just going to keep my drive focused on the next five games and even after preparing for the combine and all that extra stuff.”

THIS PAST WEEKEND, Robitaille got closer to two more receiving records with 10 receptions for 144 yards and another touchdown. The Skyhawks won 33-0 at Pace and are now 3-4 on the season with four games remaining. Although the chances of making the playoffs are slim, Robitaille insists that his only focus is getting the season back on track getting four more wins.

“I want us to come out and win the next [four] games and kind of switch around the morale of what everyone is feeling right now,” he said. “We’ve just got to control what we can control and go out there and win.”

Talley added, “Nate realizes that we’re going to try and get the ball in his hands in any way that we can and then being able to take advantage of it is what he’s going to want to do, but it’s really in helping the team be successful is really his main goal.”

In the midst of a busy season it can be hard to take a moment and think about where you came from and how you got to where you are, but Robitaille tried for a second.

“When you’re in the game, you don’t even think about that stuff,” he said. “But it’s been a fun ride from playing Pop Warner at Attleboro to playing at the high school and now to this…I’m blessed.”

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Upcoming Events

Game 7
Who:  Attleboro HS vs King Philip HS
When:  Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 12:00PM
Where:  Attleboro High School

Freshman Game - Thurs, Oct 23, 2014 at 3:30PM at King Philip Reg HS
JV Game - Monday, Oct 27, 2014 at 3:30PM at King Philip Reg HS

Gridiron Meeting
When:  October 27, 2014 at 7:00PM
Where:  Attleboro High School

Who:  Anyone and everyone
Room 178 (behind the trophy case)

Photographers and Photos needed for the JV and Freshmen games. 


Anyone interested in taking photos at these games, please do and forward them to attleborofootball@gmail.com

Congratulations to the 2014 Football Captains!


Kyle Murphy


Tim Christensen


Brenden Massey


Nick Desmarais


Matt Elliott

Attleboro High School Football Apparel Store is OPEN!

2014 Football Links

Mass D1 South Power Rankings - 10/19/14

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