Ryan Bolduc not resting on early success

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When Ryan Bolduc was finishing second in the Football Hotbed All-American National Middle School Quarterback Showcase earlier this year, his father Norm was sitting in the stands talking to another parent.
That’s when Norm Bolduc got the head’s up about NFA training.
“I checked it out and we got Ryan signed up with NFA,” Norm said. “He went to his first camp in Orlando in the spring, then Jacksonville and then the Duel. We’ve talked about if we would have known about NFA two years ago, think about how good Ryan would be now. NFA has been a tremendous help for him. Tremendous.”
Tremendous is an accurate description of Ryan Bolduc as a quarterback.

Impressive resume

While he is still developing, the eighth grader from Bradenton, Fla., already has an impressive resume:
-Playing in the Sarasota Redskins Youth Football League, Bolduc led his Kiowa 12U team to an undefeated season last year.
-Also last season, he played for Team Sarastoa in the National Championship FBU Tournament. Unable to play QB due to a fractured throwing (right) hand, Bolduc still made a big impact played safety and tight end.
-In August, he played in the preseason NGYS Kickoff Classic in Jacksonville. The Sarasota Mohawk beat the Jacksonville Raiders and Pensacola Browns en route to winning the tournament.
Bolduc completed 9 of 13 passes for 162 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions in the tourney.
-He also played QB in the North Port Jamboree, and the Mohawk won all three 20-minute running clock half-games. Bolduc passed for 5 TDs in the Jamboree.
-Bolduc also led his Mohawk team to a pair of wins in the Sarasota Redskins League Jamboree.
-He’s been selected as a Diamond All-American and invited to play in their All-Star Game.
-Bolduc was named in the Future Four at the Football Hotbed Showcase and invited to participate in their All Star Game.
-He was tabbed as a NGYS All-American and will play in the Next Generation Youth All-American Bowl in January.
-Bolduc attended his first Duel in July and finished third among incoming eighth graders.
That is a lot of success in a very short period, but Bolduc remains humbled, focused and driven. “There’s always room to improve on everything,” he said. “I look at everything as an opportunity to get better and grow as a player, an athlete and as a person. That’s one thing I always try to focus on, what I can improve on, what I can get better at, what I can build on.”

Third at Duel

Bolduc is already looking to improve on his third-place finish at the Duel next summer.
“I’m really happy for the opportunity I got to go to the Duel, the coaching I received from the NFA coaches and Darin Slack’s motivational speeches,” Bolduc said. “That really helped me out a lot. His motivational speeches are off the hook, they are very, very amazing. My expectations for the Duel were to try to at least finish in the Top 5. I ended up finishing third and that was satisfying. It left me with room to improve and it gave me some motivation to get better, try to get to that No. 1 spot. I’m pretty satisfied with the No. 3 room spot but there is room to improve.”
This season, Bolduc is quarterbacking the Sarasota Mohawk, who are ranked No. 4 nationally in 14U football. “Our team goal is to try to get to the postseason tournament, the state championship,” he said. “The individual goal is to grow as an athlete and grow as a player. All the teammates I’ve been playing with the last couple years, this will be the last year before I go to high school. I want to get as much as I can out of the season heading into high school.”
Bolduc attends Braden River Middle School, where he carries a 4.14 GPA on a 4.0 scale. “I always put school as my No. 1,” he said. “It’s always my top priority because that is basically what is going to carry me through life. Football ends at some point. Education will get you to where you need to be. I never slack off in school. School is No. 1 and football is right behind it.”

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Scot Gregor is an award-winning sportswriter for the Chicago Daily Herald. In addition to writing about Big 10 and Notre Dame football, Gregor has also covered the White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and college basketball. He grew up in Pittsburgh and watched the Steelers rise to prominence in the 1970s. Gregor has a B.S. degree in Journalism from Ohio University

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