PSA pg 7 9-2-21

When Zach Boulay was in middle school, he was always one of, if not the, best players on the court.
“I was from small-town Windham, Connecticut, right up the road, and I was good where I came from,” Boulay said. “Then I came to Putnam Science Academy. Being surrounded right away by people like Osun (Osunniyi), Kyle (Lofton), Hassan (Diarra), Tyson (Etienne)… all these high-majors, you realize very quickly how much and how hard you have to work. They showed me you have to get in the gym, get in the weight room, focus on what you need to do to get better, and that’s what I tried to do consistently to the max potential for four years.”
Boulay was known around PSA for doing just that – working hard on and off the court – for his four years with the Mustangs, and it paid off in the end for him as he announced recently that he was committing to the University of New England, a Division III school in Biddeford, Maine. He fell in love with the campus on an early-August tour and visit with Coach Ed Silva, who was actually recruiting Boulay as a member of the Class of 2022.
“Their roster was already full when I decided that I wanted to go this year,” Boulay said. “But he told me I could come in and workout and do everything with them in the preseason, and if someone ends up leaving, which I get the feeling he thinks someone will, then the roster spot is mine.
“It’s fine with me either way, really. I will be with the team even if everyone stays. If someone does leave, then I’ll slide right in. I’m fine with it either way. I knew this is how it would be when I decided to go.”
Dana Valentine, who coached Boulay on PSA’s Elite team, believes he will make it work either way.
“Zach is an extremely hard worker, very dependable,” Valentine said. “His role increased every year here and he improved each year. Whatever his role is going to be at UNE, he’s going to bring toughness and leadership from Day 1.”
Boulay said UNE was the first school to really show interest in him, reaching out earlier this summer when his game stepped up as he focused on improving his decision-making with the ball and his playmaking skills. The relationship he built with Silva over a short period was key in his decision. And it didn’t hurt that the campus is “literally right on the beach,” he said. “It’s just beautiful.” UNE also offers a degree program in Athletic Training, which is what Boulay plans to major in.
Boulay said he had a lot of emotions as he readied to leave for UNE last week.
“I’m relieved that I’m going but I’m anxious too and I’m excited. There’s all the emotions going on,” he said. “But I know being at PSA will give me a headstart on the other incoming freshmen who are just coming from high school, coming from home. I’ve been living away from home, being responsible for everything…that’s a huge factor that I think will help me handle those freshmen ups and downs.
“There are some things up in the air, for sure. But I’m ready for it. I know this is the place I need to be.”
By Stephen Nalbandian
Sports Information Director
Putnam Science Academy


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