North Attleborough celebrates a century of football at Community Field

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Running back Chris Hanewich (Number 7) carries the North Attleborough Flag to begin the Rocketeer's 100-year anniversary game at Community Field against Medfield High. Staff Photo/Adam Bass
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Red Rocketeer fan Zachary Bryan plays a loud blast on his star-spangled vuvuzela at the Community Field 100th anniversary game on Oct. 6. Staff Photo/Adam Bass

abass@northstarrerporter.com

No location is more synonymous with North Attleborough High School football history than Community Field.

On Friday, Oct. 6, the town celebrated 100 years of tackles, tight ends, touchdowns, and triumphs. North Attleborough faced Milford High School in a special anniversary celebration, marking a century of games played at Community Field.

A parade of red and white marched onto the field as the Red Rocketeers stared down the Scarlet Hawks, with North quarterback Chase Frisoli directing the offensive line.

A Red Rocketeer fan, Kathy Smith, said she had been watching games at Community Field for five years.

Smith described the field as a part of her life, as her two nephews currently play football and use the field for games and practice.

“I think it’s a great time for all of our family to get together and watch what we love,” Smith said. “We have a family who plays football all the time, even on Saturdays. So we love it when there is a game at Community Field.”

For many, Community Field is the site of one of the oldest rivalries between two high schools, North Attleborough and Attleboro.

The two teams face off annually for their Thanksgiving football game—an event that enters its 102nd anniversary this year.

Jim Mingo said he fondly remembers a match between the two in the 1970s.

“There were six seconds left in the game,” Mingo recounted. “North was down and they threw a Hail Mary pass and they threw it to one of the players. In a span of six seconds, they won the game. It was incredible.”

Others, such as Robin Arkelson, see Community Field as home to more than the football team.

Arkelson’s son is part of the North Attleborough High School marching band, and she goes to every game to watch him perform.

“The field is for everybody,” Arkelson said. “It’s for the football team, the band, the cheerleaders, it’s a place for everybody.”

While North Attleborough lost to Milford 33 to 14, the energy and excitement were omnipresent on and off the field.

When asked what Community Field meant to him, Mingo said it is about showing up to the games, regardless of what happens to the team.

“It’s in the name,” he said. “It’s called Community Field. It doesn’t matter if you’re up by eight or down by eight, you are there.”