North’s football team expects to “be challenged each week”

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Greg Berthiaume (Number 44) makes a run down the field during North Attleborough's season opener game against Bishop Feehan on Sept. 10. Following the game, Coach Don Johnson said the team reviewed footage to see where they could improve. Staff Photo/Max Bowen

By Max Bowen-max.bowen@northstarreporter.com

With an intense game against Bishop Feehan now in the books, North Attleborough’s varsity football team is looking ahead to a season full of challenges.

Head Varsity Coach Don Johnson said that the Sept. 10 game against the Bishop Feehan Shamrocks—their season opener—allowed the team to get some good experience, particularly for the new players. He credited the three senior captains—Tyler DeMattio, Jared Basher, and Tyler Bannon—with an impressive display in the first game.

All three of those guys had plenty of experience last year and played well,” said Johnson.

The coach said that DeMattio was an effective offensive weapon, scoring all the points in the first game and showed good throwing skills. Bannon lead in tackles with 11 in the Bishop Feehan game. Johnson described Basher as a “two-way player on the line” and was the most consistent on both offense and defense.

The game’s atmosphere was intense, with packed stands at Community Field. Feehan fans filled one side, all wearing white—Feehan’s school colors are green and white—and roared throughout the game. North Attleborough’s fans wore their red in support of the team and waved flags. Last year the football season was delayed until the spring due to Covid restrictions.

It was great to be back at it without the Covid restrictions that we had in spring,” said Johnson. “It was a great atmosphere with the crowds.”

North lost the opener against Feehan with a final score of 24-10, but Johnson said there was much to learn and the following Monday, players reviewed footage. He said proudly that none of the players made excuses for any mistakes.

Our guys to a man owned up to their mistakes and showed by their actions on the field that they were getting better,” said Johnson. “Some kids want to make excuses—we didn’t get any of that.”

Looking ahead, Johnson said the team has many challenges, such as the Division 2 Feehan, Mansfield, and King Phillip teams, or the Division 1 Attleboro, which North plays every Thanksgiving. The team’s been called to win the Hockomock League’s Davenport Title, which it did last season. Johnson said that the team is in the hunt, but it may be too early to decide the winner.

We hope that they (the team) learned already that on any given night anyone can beat anyone else,” said Johnson. “We can’t take anybody lightly. We approach each one as the biggest game of the year.”