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University's Boudreau embraces chance to compete against the best
Former University quarterback Neil Boudreau is looking to go out a winner in his final high school football game.
Boudreau, a football and baseball standout at University, is one of two quarterbacks for the South in the 57th annual Brea Lions Orange County All-Star Football game Friday night at Orange Coast College.
“Our team has been really focused in practice and I’ve been working a lot on my own with friends,” Boudreau said this week. “I’m really excited to get out and play another high school football game.”
Boudreau, who is headed to play football at San Diego State in the fall, will share the quarterback duties with Aliso Niguel’s Nick Chapman in the all-star game.
One of Boudreau’s Uni teammates, Babak Ghadak-Saz, is an offensive lineman for the South.
“He was one of my good friends and it’s really fun being out there with him,” Boudreau said. “This opportunity is really special and I’m glad I can be out there with someone I know really well.”
Other local players include Curtis Jackson, a defensive back from Irvine; Demetrius Goods, a wide receiver from Beckman; Jett Zeimantz, an offensive lineman from Beckman; Andrew Ryan, a defensive lineman from Crean Lutheran and Jalen Gill, a defensive back from Woodbridge.
It’s possible that Jackson could be used at running back or as a receiver.
Boudreau said the South is fired up to get a victory.
“As a team it’s really important. Coach (Mike) Maceranka has pushed that a lot with us,” Boudreau said. “He really wants us to win; I know the South has won the last few years and I hope we can do it again, and I expect to.”
It will be Boudreau’s second all-star game. He also played for the South in the Orange County all-star baseball game in June. Boudreau played right field for two innings and pitched a scoreless inning.
“The baseball game was a lot of fun too,” he said. “Competing with some of the best in the county was an amazing experience.”
In his senior season, Boudreau was on former coach Chris Conlin’s last baseball team at University.
“Being out there with my friends on the field was the main thing, competing with the other teams in the league,” Boudreau said. “My senior year, sending off Coach Chris Conlin stands out the most.”
Boudreau batted .361 with 30 hits, 11 RBI, seven extra-base hits and nine runs scored, earning all-league and all-city honors this past season. Boudreau also registered three victories on the mound, pitching 47 innings.
In football, University had its best season in a while earning its first CIF playoff berth since 2007 and Boudreau played a key role, rushing for 118 yards and completing 89 for 162 passes for 10 touchdowns, earning second team all-PCL honors and all-city honors.
“Making the playoffs was amazing and the two games we won in the last minute stands out and the brotherhood we formed within our team was amazing,” he said. “I think we expected to win every single day and had the same group of kids we started with in the freshman year and we picked up a couple guys who helped the team a lot along the way.
“I just think we had the right group of guys who believed we could win and wanted to win more than the other teams. That’s why we were so successful.”
Between preparing for all-star games and the fall season at San Diego State, Boudreau has tried to have some fun off the field.
“I’ve been down at the beach a lot,” he said. “I usually work out in the morning and then head down to the beach. It’s been a lot of fun and I’m happy I’ve had the ability to balance my schedule because I know I’m going to have a lot going on coming up.
“I’m really excited for that because it’s what I’ve always wanted to do. The ability to compete at a Division 1 school and program is going to be awesome, especially since it’s so close to home in one of the best locations in the world.
“San Diego State recruited me a little late in the process. I was initially pretty set on going to USD but San Diego State came (with an offer) about three weeks left before I was going to make my decision and we just felt it was the best place because they were the best school that recruited me football wise, it’s close to home and it made sense to my parents and my family and my friends.”
Boudreau said the Aztecs are looking at using him as a punter, “but I’ve also talked to them about playing quarterback.”
The summer football camp begins Aug. 6, said Boudreau, who plans to major in business administration.
But first, there is one more high school football game to play and Boudreau is expecting a big turnout of family and friends to cheer him and his South teammates on.
“My parents and grandparents, along with my sixth grade teacher and a bunch of friends and guys who have been supporting me through the years (will attend),” he said.
Boudreau said he is appreciative of the support.
“Thanks for everyone who supported me through the process of getting here and I’m just really happy I got the opportunity to keep playing,” he said.
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