TOWNSEND — When high school football camps open up around the area on August 24, there will be a lot of missing players to graduation.
One of those being North Middlesex quarterback John Boutwell, who started all four years under center for the Patriots.
Boutwell has agreed to continue his football career at Curry College, a private liberal arts school in Milton.
“The big thing that drew me to them was the rebuilding process there,” Boutwell said about his decision. “I was a big part of the process here at NM for the last four years for that final season. That was really important to me, so I can show the coaches that I am here to play and do whatever it takes to make the team better. I am ready to take on the challenges ahead of us.”
Boutwell plans to study Criminal Justice and is pursuing a job as a law enforcement officer.
The six-foot-three, 215 pound Townsend native was recruited as a quarterback, but that has not always been the case for Boutwell.
He did not start playing quarterback until late in his eighth grade year in American Youth Football, when he begged his coach to let him try.
“If I don’t get to play quarterback, hopefully I will be helping somewhere,” Boutwell. “I am kind of not a quarterback build, but they will try to put me somewhere. In eighth grade, I begged my coach to play quarterback one day and he did. But, he moved me back to tight end.”
Before that, he got the majority of his snaps at tight end or on the line.
People always told Boutwell he was way too big to be play quarterback, but he proved them wrong.
A true three step drop and pass quarterback, Boutwell threw for 1,346 yards and 15 touchdowns with a 62 percent completion rate.
Head coach Sandy Ruggles took a chance on Boutwell and sent him to a few offseason camps.
Boutwell started for the Patriots in the second game of his freshman year — not an easy situation to
Boutwell rushed for 390 yards on 114 carries and scored 10 times his senior year, proving that he could get it done both through the air and on the ground.
But, that just gave the gunslinger more ammunition to prove the naysayers wrong.
“My freshman year was the worst year of my life — I threw 12 interceptions,” he said. “I was already way behind the other guys because usually you don’t just pick up quarterback when you get to high school. But, I learned from that poor experience and built on it. It is probably the toughest transition in a sport that I have ever done. Starting at quarterback as a 14-year-old playing 17,18-year-olds is really tough. But, the experience really helped me mature as a person and a player.”
As long as Boutwell is playing, he is happy.
“It is an honor to just be playing college football,” Boutwell said. “Curry is carrying quite a few quarterbacks, so that is why there is talk of me changing positions. I went to Curry’s homecoming against Hobart, and I fell in love with the atmosphere around the school.”
Boutwell is very close to his family, so playing in Milton is a perfect fit. Boutwell’s father, John Sr., has been in the end zone for every one of his games through high school and AYF.
His North Middlesex years may be behind him, but he hopes that the tradition of his dad being there for every game continues
“It is kind of weird to think that I have graduated from NM,” he said. “When I look at my dad, he is in the NM Hall of Fame. Hopefully, somehow someway, I can get in there with my dad. That is my lifetime goal to get in there with Sandy Ruggles. Just like him.”
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