Thomas College student

Philbrook receives $5,000 scholarship from Bill Belichick Foundation

Oceanside graduate, former Mariner student-athlete, meets Patriots' head coach at ceremony
By Mark Haskell | May 16, 2017
Courtesy of: Philbrook family Nate Philbrook, left, and New England Patriots' coach Bill Belichick.

Foxborough, Mass. — As a lifelong New England Patriots football fan, it would be fair to say that Saturday, May 6 was a prominent moment in the life of Thomas College student Nate Philbrook.

Not only did he get to meet Patriot head coach Bill Belichick, but also got to ease a bit of the financial burden that comes to so many who attend college.

Philbrook, a 2015 Oceanside High School graduate and Rockland resident, was among 30 recipients of a $5,000 college scholarship through the Bill Belichick Foundation.

The stipend recognizes high school seniors and/or college students who have improved and excelled academically while participating in athletics.

The scholarship ceremony was held at the Renaissance Hotel at Patriot Place — next to the Patriots' Hall of Fame.

Thousands applied, but, in the end, Philbrook was one of 30 to receive a scholarship from the Bill Belichick Foundation.

The 20-year-old Philbrook, who played tennis and soccer at Oceanside, recently finished his second year at Thomas College and majors in sports management, with a minor in finance. He also is an intern with the Portland Sea Dogs baseball organization and is a promotional team captain in charge of putting on sponsored events between innings at Hadlock Field.

Philbrook said he “was pretty excited for the financial burden to be lifted, and also for the opportunity to meet coach Belichick.”

"I had applied months and months before and hadn't heard anything from the BBF, so I figured they had moved on to other candidates,” Philbrook said. “I had read after applying that he favors football and lacrosse sports, so I figured they would not give it to a kid that plays tennis from Midcoast Maine.”

Philbrook applied in June of 2016 and got the call he was chosen in "mid-November."

The qualifications were for the recipient to have played at least two varsity sports during senior year of high school and to continue to play one of those sports at the club or varsity level in college — while maintaining a minimum grade-point average of 3.0.

Philbrook played varsity tennis his freshman year for the Terriers, but did not play this spring as the regular season coincided with his internship responsibilities with the Sea Dogs.

Philbrook said Belichick made the rounds and greeted many seated in the room before taking the stage and eventually recognized all present recipients one by one. Philbrook made his way to the stage and took a photo with Belichick — as did the 29 other recipients individually — when his name was called.

“[Belichick] finished his final speech by saying, ‘As many of you know, we just signed 19 rookies and drafted four more and I have to head out on the practice field and get them into shape,’” said Philbrook. “‘We are on to 2017.’ And he walked out.”

Upon graduation, Philbrook hopes to get into sales in minor league baseball “anywhere in the country, [but] preferably somewhere warm.”

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