tony

Red Rocketeer football players will pay tribute to the late Tony Calcia on Saturday by wearing this helmet.

NORTH ATTLEBORO — Tony Calcia loved North Attleboro — and North Attleboro loved him back.

On Saturday, exactly one year after his unexpected death at age 64, the Red Rocketeer football squad will pay tribute to the former volunteer assistant coach.

When players square off against Oliver Ames High at home, on their helmets they will wear a white stripe with TONY spelled out in red.

Rocketeer head coach Don Johnson said in an email, “I think of him every time we take the field...His presence will be felt.”

Calcia’s death last year brought an outpouring of emotion in town.

Ed Hurley, president of the Hockomock YMCA, where Calcia worked for many years, said, “I have never met anyone as universally beloved as Tony Calcia, and he loved them back.”

Calcia was a few months from retirement at the Y, Hurley said, where he was vice president of child protection and social responsibility. Prior to that post being created for him, he had worked at the Y as vice president in charge of operations since 2002. Before that, he was the director of parks and recreation for North Attleboro for 14 years and had also been a volunteer assistant coach for the Rocketeers.

Calcia served on the town school committee for 12 years and was a member of the board of directors for The Arc of Northern Bristol County. He also served on the North Attleboro Scholarship Foundation.

He was a regular presence on the sidelines at North sporting events.

Tom Reilly can be reached at 508-236-0332 or treilly@thesunchronicle.com. Follow him on Twitter @Tomreillynews

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