Leavitt senior Jack Boutaugh (67) fights to get past the block of teammate Reeve Twitchell (57) during an October practice in Turner. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Jack Boutaugh, a senior at Leavitt Area high School, signed Wednesday to attend and play football at the University of Maine.

The Black Bears offered Boutaugh a preferred walk-on spot, allowing the 6-foot-4, 260-pound lineman to achieve his dream of playing NCAA Division I football. 

“I’ve always wanted to play Division I football. It’s always been a high goal of mine,” Boutaugh said.

Boutaugh, who was a Gaziano Award finalist, is one of four high school players from Maine joining the Black Bears, joining offensive lineman Thomas Horton (a Gaziano winner) and running back Zachariah Oja of Bonny Eagle and quarterback Jack Emerson of Thornton Academy.

“I think the two things that really appealed to him were one, the engineering program, and two, the chance to play D-I football in your own state,” Leavitt football coach Mike Hathaway said. “Not too many guys can even come close to that opportunity, so for him to achieve that goal, we are really proud of him.”

Hathaway said he could remember four former Leavitt Hornets playing in Division-I: Matt Pellerin, Doug Nash and Jon Pirruccello at UMaine, and Ryan Staples at Colgate.


Boutaugh’s new coach is a former Maine high school standout who went on to play for the Black Bears: Jordan Stevens, a Mt. Blue graduate, who was hired as head coach of the Black Bears in December.

is ready for Boutaugh to join the team’s offensive line group. 

“Jack is a tough, physical offensive lineman that is just getting started. Jack has all the tools to grow and develop here at the University of Maine,” Stevens said in a quote posted on the UMaine football program’s social media accounts.

Boutaugh dislocated his right elbow during Leavitt loss to Cape Elizabeth in the Class C South regional in November.

Hathaway said that Boutaugh was a leader for the Hornets from his sophomore year to senior year.

“He was a two-way starter as a sophomore on a state championship team that was loaded with juniors and seniors,” Hathaway said. “I think that speaks to his level of talent and his ability to be physical up front, and not a lot of people can do that. I thought at the end of the season he was playing as well as anyone in the league.


“Great sophomore campaign and then great leadership his junior year through the pandemic. There wasn’t much to do for offensive lineman at all, and he kept a lot of those guys going over the summer and fall — he was the guy and he did a good job. Him and Reeve (Twitchell) took it upon themselves to help those guys that year. I think that year Jack grew up a lot.

“As a senior he was great every single week and the only reason he stopped was because he dislocated his elbow early in the game. He dominated both sides of the ball all year, was pretty much unblockable, and it’s not too often that you have to design a lot of your play calls around an offensive lineman. That’s kind of the way we were this year, it was based on what he could do. We based a lot on what our right tackle could do, and it speaks to how good of a player he is.”

Boutaugh exhibited his overall athleticism during the current indoor track and field season. The football injury prevented him from throwing the shot put with his right arm early in the season, so he used his left arm and still qualified for the KVAC championship meet.

His elbow has healed, so he’s using his right arm again, and set a personal record on Jan. 27 with a distance of 44 feet, 1 inch.

Boutaugh said that he’s excited about the chance to play football for the Black Bears.

“It was really just a surreal moment, finding out that all my hard work had finally paid off,” Boutaugh said of being offered a spot on the team. “The other three guys, Jack Emerson, Tom Horton and Zachariah Oja, they’re a really good group of guys and so I am excited to play football with them.”

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