Like any junior taking over a starting spot on varsity, Brendan Boudreau will have a learning curve as he steps in as La Salle-Peru’s quarterback.
However, Boudreau may have an advantage over most inexperienced players because his father, Nathan, is L-P’s offensive coordinator.
Nathan Boudreau, who played offensive and defensive line at Stark County and helped the Rebels reach the 1997 Class 1A state title game, has been instilling a love of the game an imparting knowledge on his son since he was young.
One thing Nathan Boudreau does to help Brendan is send him short YouTub clips of the service academies – who have similar offensive philosophies to the Cavs – to reinforce concepts they’ve worked on.
“He likes football, and his IQ is getting better,” said Nathan Boudreau, who has been an assistant at L-P since 2016 and is entering his third season as offensive coordinator.
Brendan Boudreau said along with the videos, he and his dad talk about football a good amount at home.
“I think it helps,” Brendan Boudreau said.
While they both acknowledge their father-son relationship is beneficial on the football field, there’s more to it than a typical offensive coordinator-quarterback relationship.
“He likes football, and he asks questions at times, but also he’s our oldest of four, so there’s the dynamic of raising a teenage boy that supersedes being the offensive coordinator and quarterback,” Nathan Boudreau said.
L-P coach Jose Medina, whose own son, Andres, is in the program, thinks the Boudreau’s father-son relationship will be helpful.
“I would say probably it has to [help Brendan’s development],” Medina said about having Nathan as offensive coordinator. “I’m sure they’re watching film and doing those things and making sure he understands coach Boudreau’s expectations. I think them working together is going to be up and down, but I think it’s going to be a positive thing for us.”
Along with having his father as offensive coordinator, Boudreau has the benefit of getting a taste of varsity action last fall, including getting seven carries for 37 yards in L-P’s first-round playoff loss to Morris.
“Up here [on varsity] it’s faster, and you have to be quicker,” Brendan Boudreau said. “I think last year I was more nervous. I don’t think I was really as ready. This year, I feel like I’ll be ready, and it will be easier.”
Boudreau spent the summer preparing for his starting role by lifting and conditioning, 7-on-7s and camp.
“[My goals for the summer were] just to get bigger, stronger and more confident,” Brendan Boudreau said. “Last year, I played a couple games but it was different. This year, I feel I’ll be used to it more and make good decisions.”
In L-P’s offense, Boudreau will be expected to run the ball and throw it as the Cavs look to develop the play action passing game.
Sean Whitfield, who Boudreau is replacing under center, ran for 647 yards and nine touchdowns and threw for 499 yards and five scores.
Brendan Boudreau said he runs pretty hard and is able to throw catchable passes, while Nathan Boudreau said his son has a big frame capable of taking hits in the running game – although he’d like to see him get down and lower his shoulder more coming off tackle – and he “throws the ball pretty well.”
“He’s a tough kid,” Medina said. “He’s a smart kid. He’s deceptively fast. I think if he stays healthy, he’s going to do some good things.”
With Brendan Boudreau leading the offense, the Cavs look to continue their string of success that includes playoff berths in 2019 and the fall of 2021, with a 5-0 record in the spring 2021 season.
“He knows his dad is the offensive coordinator. I don’t want him to put a lot of pressure on himself,” Nathan Boudreau said. “I told him if he makes a mistake to learn from it and move on.
“I want him to No. 1 enjoy it as I enjoyed football. I want him to stay healthy, do the best he can, not turn the ball over and score points. Our end goal is always to make the playoffs. We were 5-4 a couple years ago and played Rochester, and we went 5-4 last year and played Morris, and we know how those ended up. He’s mentioned not wanting to end up 5-4. Hopefully, we can get six or more wins.”