FOXCROFT — Jack Boutaugh is just happy to be out on a football field again. 

The Leavitt Area High School graduate dislocated his elbow in last year’s regional final against Cape Elizabeth, and this year’s Lobster Bowl practices mark Boutaugh’s return to the gridiron. 

West team member Jack Boutaugh of Leavitt is anticipating playing in the Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl Classic. He is shown during media day Tuesday at Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

“It feels great to be back out here, be moving around,” Boutaugh said. “This is the first time putting pads back on and getting contact since the injury.” 

The injury occurred on a pile up midway through the fourth quarter of last year’s Class C South final, and the gruesome looks of it brought Boutaugh to the hospital immediately. 

He wasn’t too concerned about his injury at the time, though. 

“At the time, I was just worried if the team was gonna be able to finish the game,” Boutaugh said. “I did find out at the hospital that the team lost. I kind of felt bad but I was trying not to put the guilt on myself. It’s not really something you can control, it just kind of happened.” 


The Leavitt defense, without their star defensive tackle (who was also an offensive tackle), was unable to contain Cape Elizabeth on an 18 play, 10-minute, game-winning drive filled with runs up the middle. 

However, after a hard-fought recovery, Boutaugh feels as good as ever. 

“It took a couple months to kind of bring it back. I was in a sling for a month or two, started slowly working back into lifting and getting back into the motions,” Boutaugh said. 

“I did lose a month or two there with the recovery,” Boutaugh added, “but I think I’ve bounced back reasonably well.” 

“Reasonably well” is being humble, too, because two of the West team’s coaches have noticed how solid Boutaugh has looked. 

“I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t know he had that injury until you told me,” West head coach Chris Kates said, “So I think that kind of explains how he’s been playing.” 


“I spend a lot of time with the offensive line, and Jack’s been a very good leader for us,” Kates added. “Works hard, and obviously a great football player.” 

Dave Bochtler, a coach for Boutaugh at Leavitt, was also impressed. 

“He’s having a great camp. He’s a great kid and a great football player,” Bochtler said. 

Boutaugh, despite playing both the offensive and defensive line positions for the Hornets, will be an offensive guard for the University of Maine next season. 


Boutaugh had never been away from football for an extended period of time prior to his dislocated elbow, so the injury really opened his eyes to how much the game of football means to him. 


“The season ending like that in the regionals, along with the injury, kind of put things in perspective not to take it for granted, especially with the lost COVID year,” Boutaugh said. 

Boutaugh’s junior year season was taken away due to COVID protocols, so he’s happy to finally be back playing consistently again after his injury. 

“It’s kind of a relief to be back playing the game. I love the game. It’s relaxing,” Boutaugh said. 

“Football is a stress reliver for me,” he added. “I get to come out, be physical, hit people, and just kind of let loose a little bit.” 

Boutaugh’s coaches have noticed his love for the game during Lobster Bowl practices, too. 

“It’s pretty obvious when you’re around him for a little bit, kind of how he approaches the game, that he really does care about this game and he loves being around it,” Kates said. 

“He’s all business when he’s out there,” Kates added. “You never see him taking plays off. He’s always working hard, he’s always communicating with his teammates. He’s a real joy to be around.” 

Bochtler, who has coached Boutaugh throughout his time at Leavitt (and now during the Lobster Bowl as well), also notices the UMaine commit’s passion for the game. 

“I don’t know too many people that I’ve played with or coached that love the game more than him,” Bochtler said. 

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