• 1949 – 1952 Captain 1952
  • First AHS athlete to have his jersey number “33” retired
  • Led football team to undefeated seasons in 1951 & 1952 and the Massachusetts State Class C Championship in 1952
  • Elected to Mass. Class C All-Star Team 1951 & 1952
  • Awarded the 1952 Newburyport Daily News Good Sportsmanship Trophy


  • 1950 & 1951


  • 1950 – 1953 Captain 1953

Voted “Best Athlete” by AHS 1953 graduating classmates

Click Here To View Their Induction


Valentino “Tino” Bertolini (AHS 1949 – 1953) was the best and most dominant lineman to ever play football at AHS, so much so that his jersey #33 was retired by the school at the testimonial football banquet honoring the AHS football team as Massachusetts State Class “C” Champions for 1952. At the time of retiring his jersey, Tino was still a senior at AHS.


The following is an excerpt from the Daily News:


At the conclusion of the banquet, Coach Tassinari stated that Tino Bertolini was one of the finest leaders that he has had the pleasure to come in contact with. “He was like a rooster over a flock of hens,” was Tassinari’s description of the leadership exhibited by the plucky captain. Reaching into a box at his side at the head table, the coach pulled out the now famous “33” worn by Bertolini and announced that the number was being retired and would not be worn again by Amesbury gridmen. The jersey was presented to the retiring Captain Tino.


Tino led his team to undefeated seasons in 1951 and 1952 and the Massachusetts Class “C” Championship in 1952.


In one game against Winthrop in 1952, with the winning streak on the line, Tino blocked a punt, picked it up and ran 10 yards for a touchdown. Later in the game, Tino tackled the Winthrop ball carrier in the end-zone for a safety and 2 points. The end result was an AHS win by the score of 8 – 7 with Tino scoring all Amesbury’s points. On Thanksgiving morning that same year, Tino blocked a punt on Newburyport’s 4-yard line to preserve an AHS 15 – 12 win and insure another undefeated season.


It has been said that on the field, Tino was tough as nails. He was an iron man who played his heart out on the practice field and in every game. He used his strength, great speed and game sense to strike terror in his opponents. According to his beloved wife, Ellen, off the field Tino was a wonderful caring gentleman who never said an unkind word about anyone.


Tino also played and lettered in baseball for four years and was elected Captain his senior year. He played and lettered in hockey in his sophomore and junior years but missed his senior year due to knee surgery after the football season. He also played basketball.


From sister Terry: Tino was very proud and happy to do what he did. Being a great athlete, he never looked for praise. He was always a very humble person and player on the field or on the ice or coaching. “Just always do your best,” he said. Even performing in the band, he did things with great love. He is sorely missed. He loved all he did and was proud to represent his town.


From son, John: My father almost didn’t play football because my grand-parents wanted him to be in the band. Coach Frank Kozacka had to work hard to talk my grandfather into letting him play. My father also played almost blind; his parents couldn’t afford to buy new glasses if he had broken them. Frank also told me, at my father’s funeral, that he had seen almost every Amesbury football game for over fifty years and he had never seen a football player as dominating as my father. He also said that since my father could barely see, the legend was that “he could smell the football.” Tony Tassinari had a huge impact on my father, and in fact, also on my entire family. If it were not for Tass’s persistence, my father most likely would never have gone to college (family could not afford to send him). Tass kept telling the BC coach, Mike Holovak, that my father would be a good player for BC, but Holovak said he was too small. He finally gave in and went to one Amesbury game. He gave my father a full scholarship to BC, on the sideline after that one game!!!


Tino lived by the motto “A winner never quits, and a quitter never wins.”


He truly was one of the greatest athletes at AHS, the very best football lineman, and one of the finest gentlemen.


Congratulations to inductee Tino Bertolini, Class of 1953

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