LAWRENCE — Nick Boes freely admits that he was crushed when, a season ago, he lost the battle for the Central Catholic starting quarterback job.
“I was devastated,” said Boes. “(Offensive coordinator John) Sexton pulled me aside before practice after a scrimmage and told me. It was devastating.”
He could have quit the team, like so many have. He could have remained and become a distraction, causing controversy and dividing the locker room of a contending team.
But not Nick Boes.
Instead, the Methuen resident remade himself. He’s now a 6-foot-1, 222-pound inside linebacker who has emerged this season as a top linebacker with 50 tackles for the Merrimack Valley Conference Division 1 champion Raiders. Central (6-1) will open playoff play tonight in the Division 1 North quarterfinals when it hosts Lexington (3-4), weather permitting.
“Nick dedicated himself to winning a job this season, he did everything he could and he has played a major role for us,” said Raiders head coach Chuck Adamopoulos. “He has very good instincts, he is very intelligent and his attitude never wavered. We live in a world where, if things don’t go right for people individually, the team ends up second. So I have a lot of respect for everything he has done.”
Boes, who began playing football in the second grade, actually grew up playing tight end. But, as a freshman, he moved to quarterback out of necessity — and immediately fell in love.
“(Freshman) coaches (Sully) Grella and (Tom) Canto put me in and I just loved it right away,” he said. “We threw the ball all the time. I guess I have a pretty strong arm and I loved throwing as much as possible. I also liked to run the ball, even though I am not as fast as most quarterbacks.”
Boes started at QB for the freshman team then as a sophomore started for the JVs, splitting time with a freshman named Mike Milano.