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Corona del Mar High offensive lineman Thomas Bouda commits to Army

Corona del Mar's Thomas Bouda is a senior offensive lineman and has made a commitment to go to Army West Point.
Corona del Mar’s Thomas Bouda is a senior offensive lineman and has made a commitment to go to Army West Point.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

The phrase, “No days off,” often gets the reputation of coachspeak.

Corona del Mar High School’s Thomas Bouda cannot find anything disagreeable about those words.

Since attending an introductory weightlifting camp for prospective members of the CdM football program in middle school, Bouda has shown the Sea Kings coaching staff that he is the sort of person that believes that one must move forward or they are going backward.

He is no stranger to a regimented lifestyle, and therefore, he found an ideal fit for extending his playing career.

Bouda committed to the Army West Point football program on Aug. 1.

“I honestly think that no other school could compete with Army, with the brotherhood, the football, the academics that are just top-tier, and there is just an amazing group of guys there, guys that are willing to work and just win games,” Bouda said. “Personally, I feel like Army just gave me a home feeling, a place where I could fit in, just work and become a better player and person.”

Bouda said that Army was the first program to offer him a scholarship. Consistent contact with the coaching staff thereafter appealed to him.

Nevada, Cal Poly and Eastern Washington were among the other schools that Bouda considered.

After he has finished out his collegiate playing career, Bouda said he will have five years of military service to follow.

“He has that unique ability and character to be able to go off and take on a challenge like West Point and the Army,” Sea Kings coach Dan O’Shea said of Bouda. “It’s going to be a herculean task to enter into that renowned academy, but I think he’s built for it. He has the right determination and grit and leadership skills to thrive in that environment.”

Bouda, the reigning Sunset League Offensive Lineman of the Year, joins tight end Scott Giuliano among the Sea Kings’ committed players for the class of 2021. Giuliano has committed to Harvard.

Corona del Mar's Thomas Bouda played left tackle during the Sea Kings' undefeated season in 2019.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

“Tommy is a prime example of how a CdM football player should act and carry themselves,” Giuliano said. “He is a selfless leader who will always put the team first. Tommy is one of the hardest workers on the field and in the weight room. He’s a great teacher to the younger guys in the program and is always willing to help. He’s definitely a guy that you want on your side on a Friday night.”

The upcoming high school football season is far from certain, having already been postponed until January due to the coronavirus pandemic. Bouda said that it is important to self-motivate, even if the season is in doubt.

“I think if you just work every single day, it will make you a better person,” Bouda said. “You’ll create good habits in your life, which make you a better person in general.

“Whether we have a season or not, you still should be putting in work every single day and kind of have the mentality of, ‘If we do have one, then I’ll be ready to jump in and just help the team.’”

Corona del Mar went 16-0 in winning the CIF Southern Section Division 3 and CIF State Division 1-A titles last season.

A 6-foot-3, 250-pound senior left tackle, Bouda is one of two returning offensive linemen from that team. The other is senior right guard Hunter Schimmelpfennig.

For the first time in three seasons, the Sea Kings will have a new quarterback under center after the graduation of Ethan Garbers (Washington).

O’Shea said that the quarterback battle is five deep, including a pair of senior transfers — Cooper Wrenn from Portland (Ore.) Jesuit and Jackson Oksnee from San Marcos Mission Hills. The others are senior Dane Voorhees, junior Max Lane and sophomore David Rasor.

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