by Lee Brecheen
October 19, 2011 – One of the biggest leaders I’ve met in the last two years on a high school football team is a kid named Tom Bove from Parkview Baptist High School in Baton Rouge. Bove is a Defensive Tackle for college, and sometimes a blocking Fullback when the team needs some more power in the backfield.
Tom is 5-11 and some change tall, and a tough and strong 265 pounds in weight. However, he is an all out football player that plays the game full throttle and always seems to motivate his teammates before the game and during the game. He’s like having another football coach on the field. If you pay attention to the sidelines like I do, you’ll see kids that do these sorts of things for their team.
This is a kid who’s a great student in the classroom, and one of the strongest players on the team in the weight room. He’s also mature beyond his years as a high school football player.
Bove is committed to the University of Wofford, which is a IAA school in South Carolina. I think he’s a great fit for that program to play Defensive Tackle (Nose Guard), and he might get to play some Fullback if needed in a pinch. This kid will bring leadership right away to the program and make other players better.
After watching him for three years, I found that the strength of this kid’s talent is his ability to get the most out of his ability every play. He’s a self made player, and a very determined kid on the field which I think will go a long ways once he hits a college campus. Tom is very strong, and at the point of attack as a Defensive Tackle he’s tough to move and tough to block every down. He will get to move to his more natural position of Nose Guard once he joins his college team where they will have the 6-1 to 6-2, 240 pound defensive ends outside and he can take over the middle of the line in college.
I’ve seen a few 5-11 to 6-0 tall nose guards in my time do very well in college because of hard work, strength, quick feet, and leadership. Tom is one of those kids that you will be hearing a lot about one day at the IAA level.
Be sure to order the 2011 Louisiana Football Magazine Preview at www.lafootballmagazine.com/store for more coverage on Tom Bove and the rest of the Parkview Baptist Eagles as well as all the High Schools in the state of Louisiana.
I hope you enjoy the interview below by Mark Clements
Interview by Mark Clements
LAFM: For starters, what’s your current height, weight and forty time?
TB: Six foot, 265, and 5-flat.
LAFM: Are you originally from Louisiana?
TB: Actually, I was born in Austin, Texas, and I lived there for two years. My dad got a job with Target in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and I lived there for nine years. My mom’s actually from here so we moved down here when I was in sixth grade and I’ve been at Parkview since.
LAFM: Which teams did you root for growing up?
TB: To be completely honest, I was always a baseball guy. I loved the Minnesota Twins when I was in Minneapolis. It wasn’t until fifth or sixth grade when I put the pads on and the coach was out there and saw how good I was that I really started to follow football. Even then, I used to visit Louisiana with my family all the time and it was always the New Orleans Saints. By far my favorite team is the Saints.
LAFM: When did you first start playing football?
TB: I started in fifth grade.
LAFM: Has it always been a big part of your family? Have you had any family members who played football in the past?
TB: Yeah, my dad played football at the University of Connecticut. He’s from New York and he played at UConn. From ’73-’77 he was a letterman. Other than that, football wise, nobody else in my family has played besides him.
LAFM: Do you play any other sports?
TB: I realized the amount of time I had for football so I wanted to focus on one thing and get bigger and stronger during the offseason, so I gave up baseball after eighth grade so it’s always been football through high school. I threw shot a little bit in track, but tried to focus on football at the end of my career.
LAFM: Do you play any other positions?
TB: I play nose guard. In one game I played defensive end, but that was because of injuries and issues like that.
LAFM: Is there anyone in college or the Pros that you look up to or try to model your game after?
TB: Actually, it’s a former professional football player in John Randle. He was an undersized guy, he was like 6-foot, 285-pounds. He played at a really small school and he worked his way up and he’s a Hall of Fame defensive tackle even though he’s undersized and people overlooked him. He’s always been my inspiration definitely.
LAFM: What do you think is your biggest strength as a player?
TB: My biggest strength is probably unselfishness. I play nose guard in a 3-3-5. Sophomore year, when nobody knew me and I made a couple tackles here and there and now I’m taking on doubles and triples. That’s probably the best part of my game is I’m unselfish. I know my responsibility and Coach Meyer, the defensive coordinator says it’s all about doing our job and that’s what I think I’m best at is focusing on what I do best.
LAFM: What part of your game are you trying to improve upon most this season?
TB: I definitely want to get a lot better pass rush. Starting even this year, I’ve gotten 10 times better than last year. Last year I just kind of bull rushed all the time, but this year I’m doing a lot of different moves and I’m getting back there a lot quicker. I still want to improve on that definitely.
LAFM: Have you heard from any coaches or received any offers?
TB: I’m committed to play football at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
LAFM: What about the program made you want to make a commitment?
TB: It was kind of a God thing I think. I put all my stuff on an electronic document on an e-mail where I could send it out to people and my dad sent it to over 200 schools. That’s the funny part is that’s where I got, just from a simple e-mail, the best feedback I’ve ever gotten before – these schools that never would have saw me if I didn’t send an e-mail. One of the schools was Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, from Coach Teachey, the defensive line coach. He said I would be a great fit and I didn’t think much of it at first. Then I did research and I watched YouTube stuff and highlights and realized that they’re No. 3 in the country in FCS right now. They beat [Appalachian] State. I went for a visit there this summer and education-wise, it’s one of top schools in nation. The coaching staff is what I love the most. It’s a lot like Parkview. They run a triple-option offense, a three-man front on defense. The head coach has been for 24 years, the defensive coordinator has been there for 17, the defensive line coach has been there for 16 and it’s a family. I saw a lot of resemblance to Parkview and I really felt like that’s where God wanted me to go and it was the best place for me.
LAFM: Have you thought about what you might want to study in college?
TB: I think I’m going to do education or history and I want to go into coaching after I finish my playing career. That’s where I see myself going.
LAFM: What are some goals you’ve set for next season, for yourself and for the team?
TB: Last year we won a State Championship. It’s never been done in Parkview Baptist history that a team has gone back-to-back and that’s definitely the first thing on my mind, especially now just because a lot of people are writing us off and the media is kind of writing us off because we had a slow start. We started off 2-3 and had a big win against Catholic, we blew out East Feliciana and we feel like it’s us against the world. I have a good feeling about it that we’re going to make a run through 3-A and go to the state championship again and win back-to-back. That’s definitely the goal for us.
LAFM: Which school is your favorite to play against, or which game gets you the most fired up each year?
TB: In the past it’s been Redemptorist because my second career start ever, I was a freshman and I remember I played right end at the Rock in the quarterfinals in ’08. La’El Collins was a sophomore and I was a freshman and we went at it all night and that was a lot of fun. We played Redemptorist in non-district and they moved down to 2-A and they weren’t nearly as competitive as they’ve been in the past couple years, but the first three years it was always Redemptorist because I remember the feeling I got when I stepped on the field against them. I got more chills than the Dome game, which is saying a lot. But this year it definitely was Catholic High. Dealing with the past years with Catholic telling us we’re only 3-A and we wouldn’t last in 5-A and finally played them and we put a whooping on them, so that was definitely the biggest game.
LAFM: What are some of the most memorable games or plays you’ve been a part of?
TB: My favorite was last year’s semi-final game against Notre Dame. In 2009, I started as a sophomore at nose guard too and we went to the State Championship and we lost to Notre Dame, 14-7. It was a great feeling to come out and play them in the semi-finals a year later. We were all looking forward to proving this was a different team and we went out there and shut them out and beat them 17-0. We went to the Dome and ended up winning in the Dome and I think it was that two-game stretch last year from the semi-final to the Dome game was probably just the best two weeks so far of my life. It was a great experience.
LAFM: And lastly can you give us your current GPA and ACT score?
TB: I have a 3.5 GPA and a 26 on my ACT.