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Student of the game, Gaudet captains CHaD West team

  • Concord's Marc Gaudet   (Alan MacRae/for the Monitor)

    Concord's Marc Gaudet (Alan MacRae/for the Monitor)

  • Concord's Marc Gaudet loosens up prior to practice for the CHaD East vs. West All-Star Game football game on Thursday, June 26, 2014.  (Alan MacRae/for the Monitor)

    Concord's Marc Gaudet loosens up prior to practice for the CHaD East vs. West All-Star Game football game on Thursday, June 26, 2014. (Alan MacRae/for the Monitor)

  • Concord's Marc Gaudet   (Alan MacRae/for the Monitor)

    Concord's Marc Gaudet (Alan MacRae/for the Monitor)

  • Concord's Marc Gaudet   (Alan MacRae/for the Monitor)
  • Concord's Marc Gaudet loosens up prior to practice for the CHaD East vs. West All-Star Game football game on Thursday, June 26, 2014.  (Alan MacRae/for the Monitor)
  • Concord's Marc Gaudet   (Alan MacRae/for the Monitor)

When Marc Gaudet was in seventh grade and playing football for the Concord Capitols, his defensive coordinator decided to install the Boston College scheme. John Gaudet, Marc’s father and the team’s head coach, was skeptical.

“Brian Beane was the defensive coordinator and I thought he was out of his mind,” the elder Gaudet said. “But in two weeks they were running it and Marc was calling out the defenses and it all really clicked. (Beane) and Chuck Lamoureux, who was also a coach with the Capitols, were a big reason Marc turned into the player he is.”

That player is still an astute student. Gaudet was a captain and two-way starter this fall for Concord High, the undefeated Division I champs. And today he’ll captain the West team, and make all the defensive calls from his outside linebacker spot, at the CHaD NH East-West All-Star game at St. Anselm College.

“Marc is a great athlete, strong and fast, but really with him it’s everything above the shoulders,” Concord Coach Eric Brown said. “I was (at the CHaD practice) the other day and listening to all the different terminology they were using, and it’s certainly different than what we used, but I’m listening to Marc bark out all the different formations and strengths. He’s just a smart, smart player.”

He’s also a team player. During his first year of youth football, his team was missing a cornerback in its playoff game, and even though Gaudet had never played the position, he made the last-minute switch without a complaint and produced. He was a quarterback for the Capitols and for the Crimson Tide as a freshman and sophomore, but when Brown decided to go with Rob Law at QB and move Gaudet to a slot/running back spot two years ago, Gaudet never flinched. It proved to be the right move since the 5-foot-10, 195-pound Gaudet rushed for 16 touchdowns, averaging 6.9 yards per carry last year and scored 21 TDs, one shy of the school’s single-season record.

Even though he’s received more recognition as a linebacker, including USA Today All-State first team honors for 2013, Gaudet said he hopes to play running back next year next year at East Stroudsburg State University in Pennsylvania. But he quickly added, “If they want me on defense, that’s what I’ll do.” And his favorite memory from the Tide’s 12-0, title-winning season this fall is all about the team.

“It was just how together we all were,” Gaudet said. “In the past we had struggled coming together when we really needed to, but this year we finally got over that hump and it was awesome to see all of us grow as a team.”

Not only was Gaudet quick to praise his Tide teammates, he also wanted to be sure to credit trainer Brian Silfies. Gaudet, Walters Ndi and a few other Tide players worked with Silfies at his gym, One2One Brian’s Fitness, and Gaudet said, “that’s why I believe Wally and I were so dominant, we were so much stronger and faster than everyone and that was because of Brian.”

That respect for others was instilled in Gaudet at an early age by his parents and at Tokyo Joe’s, where he earned a junior black belt in karate. In fact, he was so cognizant of other people’s feelings that he was hesitant to hit when he first started playing football.

“It took him a few weeks to understand that it was okay for him to run kids over,” John Gaudet said.

Now, Gaudet can’t wait to hit someone. He said the CHaD practices were frustrating at times because there was no full contact. But he understands why the coaches are doing it, and he said that “it’s making us all hungry. I know that the kids on my team, we just want to go out and wreck somebody.”

Those kids include three of his Concord High teammates – Ndi, Logan Lamoureux and Dylan Naylor.

“The CHaD coaches were telling me how great those Concord kids have been. They’re accepting the coaching and getting after it and working really hard,” Brown said. “I’m not surprised, but it’s just great to hear that.”

Lamoureux will be starting next to Gaudet as the strong side inside linebacker (“It’s nice to have my buddy next to me,” Gaudet said.). Naylor will be playing in front of those two at defensive tackle. And Ndi, one of Gaudet’s closest friends, will be at tailback.

“I think (Ndi) half lives at our house. Actually, I’m pretty sure of it based on my food bills,” John Gaudet said with a laugh. “Marc going to college will probably knock my bills down at this point.”

Gaudet and Ndi also were part of Concord’s 4x100 relay team that set the school record last spring and finished third in the D-I meet. This year, Gaudet, Leo Sudieh, Angel Feliz and George Feliz finished first in the 4x100 at the D-I meet and were second at the Meet of Champions.

While Gaudet enjoyed the competition at track meets, practices often became a little monotonous for him. So this spring he started bringing a football to track practices and doing some of the drills the East Stroudsburg coaches assign all their incoming freshmen.

Gaudet was accepted into the accelerated exercise science program at East Stroudsburg, which means he’ll earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree after four years. That academic pursuit will add to the challenge of playing high-level Division II college football, but Gaudet is probably up for it.

“I’m a little disappointed that he’s going there because I probably won’t get to see him play that much, but I’m excited for him to go represent our state and our city at that level,” Brown said. “It’s going to be challenging, but if anyone can do it, Marc can. He’s a top-notch kid and I think they’ll find that out pretty quickly.”

(Tim O’Sullivan can be reached at 369-3341 or tosullivan@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @timosullivan20.)

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