|Position||Wide Receiver, Safety|
|High School Attended||N. Attleboro|
|College Attended||Worcester Polytechnic Institute|
Athletic, versatile, sure-fingered, and tremendous hands….all words used by local sportswriters to describe Mark Vandette, a two-way starter at wide receiver and safety for North Attleboro in 1997 who played a pivotal role in leading the Rocketeers to the Hockomock League title and their 4th EMass Super Bowl Championship. In the eyes of 1st year Head Coach Paul Sullivan, Mark “combined his athleticism with physical toughness, an awesome work ethic, and a tremendous emotional commitment to Big Red football to make himself an outstanding player and team leader.”
Offensively Vandette caught 47 passes for 846 yards over a 3-year span, an 18-yd average per catch that included 12 touchdown receptions primarily thrown by hall of fame quarterback Kyle Van De Giesen. This QB/WR duo led a powerful North offense that produced 322 points and 11 straight victories following an opening game loss to a powerful Xavarian squad. In the Stoughton game Vandette hauled in 4 receptions for 72 yards including a 12-yard TD. Mark had 2 more TD receptions against Oliver Ames, and at King Phillip Mark accounted for 142 receiving yards as he caught the 1st four passes of the game and made “a nifty 43-yd TD, out-jumping the KP defender”. In Mark’s final HS game at Bentley College in the Super Bowl, his 25-yd TD reception from Van De Geisen just 30 seconds before halftime helped lead the Red & White to a 20-14 victory over Swampscott.
Defensively Vandette intercepted 6 passes and he recorded 57 tackles during his junior and senior seasons. An outstanding tackler, tough, and quick, he was a vocal leader alerting his secondary teammates of coverages and changes in formation. In a dominating 31-7 victory over 8-0 rival Foxboro, Vandette recovered a fumble at the North 11 yard line to halt one 2nd quarter drive, stripped the Foxboro QB to force another fumble, and intercepted a pass at North’s 1-yd line near the end of the 1st half to help North clinch the league title.
Mark was named to the Hockomock League and Sun Chronicle All Star teams, and he received the Raymond Beaupre LTD Award which is presented annually to the senior player who best exemplifies the qualities of Loyalty, Toughness, and Discipline. Mark was elected later to play in the Children’s Hospital Classic, and he won the NAHS Athletic Cup as the most talented senior male athlete in the class of ’98.
After graduating from NAHS, Mark’s playing career continued at Worcester Polytechnic Institute where he was a 4-year letterman and 3-yr starter. As a senior in 2001 he was voted WPI’s Offensive Player of the Year, and he was also named as a First Team Freedom Football Conference and an ECAC Honorable Mention wide receiver.