|High School Attended||N. Attleboro|
It can be very difficult to illustrate the importance of a football player when there are no statistics. It’s easy for Neal Beaupre, simply speak to anyone who watched him, coached him, or played beside him. Boomer, as he is affectionately known, was an integral part of the 1988 Super Bowl team and a three year letterman. As a center, he unlocked lanes for Hall of Fame teammate Mark Newport, spearheading a dominant ground game. As a nose guard, he anchored a commanding defensive line. He was on the field nearly every play and used his old fashioned toe-kicking skills to become one of the most dependable kickers we’ve seen.
Neal’s father took over a struggling program at North Attleboro in the late 1960's and turned it into a winning program, rich in tradition that still exists to this day. He did this by demanding toughness and loyalty while keeping the game in perspective and putting players first. It's no surprise that those traits were found in Boomer at an early age. He truly is his father’s son. Boomer was loyal to the game of football and to his team, the type of player who knew what was best for the team and would do whatever was needed to better the team. He knew exactly when he needed to flip the switch and be a leader, but as guys like Barry Gaumond and Tommy Eliason will confirm, he also knew when and just how to lighten the mood with his great sense of humor.
Though lineman are rarely in the spotlight, there was one play in particular when all eyes were on Boomer. With the game on the line at Hayward Field, Boomer broke out that old square toe kicking cleat for a shot at a game winning extra point. As legend has it, when he was running onto the field, his father shouted to him… “Hey Boomer, if you don’t make this kick… don’t come home!” As always, he came through when his team needed him and booted the winning extra point for a memorable 7-6 victory over Feehan and a hard-earned, good-night sleep in his own house.