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Ethan Burford And Cutter Boggess To Continue Football And Academic Careers At Westminster

(All photos submitted) Above: (Left of helmet) Cutter Boggess with mother Marci and father Randy; (Right of helmet) Ethan Burford with mother Laura, Father and father Brian. Wildcats’ Assistant Coach Camron Kirkland on far right.

From Bobcats, to Wildcats and now Titans, Ethan Burford and Cutter Boggess will be teammates one more time, with both recently signing National Letters of Intent to play football for Westminster College, in New Wilmington. And in joining the Titans, they will team up with former Bobcat teammate and Cutter’s older Brother Camden, a linebacker.

Cutter and Ethan, who played for the Clarion Area Bobcats varsity team from their freshman through junior seasons and for the Central Clarion Wildcats as seniors have garnered a lot of accolades for their outstanding play.

(Photo courtesy of Randy Boggess) Ethan and Cutter at the 2020 PSFCA East-West Game

The duo recently played for the West Squad, in the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association (PSFCA) Class 1-3 All-Star Game and for the North Team, in the Central Pennsylvania Football Coaches Association (CPFCA Lezzer Lumber Classic. Cutter and Ethan were both named First Team on the 2020 Pennsylvania Football News Class-AA All-State Team, Cutter as a defensive athlete and Ethan as a wide receiver.

Cutter was second in tackles, with 63 tackles (including 45 solo), 3 sacks, 1 interception, and 1 fumble caused for the Wildcats in 2020. As a Bobcat, from 2017-2019, Cutter registered 178 tackles (including 71 solo), 12 tackles for loss, 6 passes defended, 8 hurries, 1 fumble caused and 1 fumble recovered.

Cutter and Ethan with fellow Wildcats’ (coaches and players) who participated in the 2021 Lezzer Lumber Classic.

Ethan had 37 catches for 809 yards and 10 touchdowns, for the Wildcats in 2020. He is the all-time leader in receiving yardage (2277), touchdowns (33) and receptions (95) among athletes from Clarion Area School District. The totals are for his seasons as a Bobcat and Wildcat. Ethan’s 17 touchdowns in 2019 are the Clarion Area single season record. For the Bobcats in 2018, Ethan had 19 receptions for 289 yards and six touchdowns. In addition to his touchdown record, 2019 also saw Ethan amass 1179 receiving yards, for second all-time for a single season and 39 receptions, which tied him for third all-time for Clarion Area players.

Ethan had this to say, “I chose Westminster because it is a small school where I can get the best education possible and focus on bettering myself every day. I like the small-town aspect of it as well. I will major in finance and after graduating I would like to be a forensic accountant under the FBI. I’m also very excited to join a winning program that I know will push me every day to get better. After meeting with the coaches, I know that they will do anything for the success of the team and for the players. I am beyond excited to be coached by the great staff they have at Westminster. I am also very excited to join the winning culture that they have built.”

Cutter mentioned, “I chose Westminster because I believe it is the best place to help get me where I want to be in the future, and I’ll be able to go to school with my brother, Camden, and best friend, Ethan. I like how the school is smaller and is focused on academics. I plan to major in biology and pursue a medical career. I’m looking forward to joining the football program because of its winning history and the coaches not accepting mediocrity from any of the players. I feel the school and coaches will best prepare me for life after football. I’d like to thank my family and everyone who’s been there for me along the way from youth football up to my high school career with the Clarion Bobcats and Central Clarion Wildcats.”

Westminster is an NCAA, Division III school, competing in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) and the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC).

(Westminster photo) Titans’ Coach Scott Benzel

The Titans are led by Coach Scott Benzel, who will enter his eight year at the helm. Under his guidance, the Titans have amassed a 48-21 record, including going 5-0 and winning the program’s first ever PAC title, in an abbreviated 2021 spring season. Westminster won the title in a 27-20 victory over Washington & Jefferson.

Other than his first year (4-6 in 2014) with The Titans have had winning seasons under Coach Benzel. Prior to the shortened season, Westminster posted five consecutive 300-plus total points (357 in 2015, 348 in 2016, 306 in 2017, 301 in 2018, and 412 in 2019), while winning three ECAC Championships (2015, 2017 and 2019).

(Westminster College photo) The Titans enjoying their first PAC Championship victory.

Coach Benzel really likes what he sees in Ethan and Cutter. “We are very excited about the 2021 signings and in particular Ethan and Cutter coming on board.

“Ethan is a dynamic playmaker who set school records in receiving, touchdowns and yards. He plays much bigger than his size and we are excited about adding him into our tempo spread offensive attack. We have had a track record of plugging small school receivers into our system and developing them into productive playmakers for the Titans.

“We have been familiar with Cutter because of his brother Camden being a member of our football team. Cutter is someone that will get an opportunity to play linebacker for us on defense. The style of defense that we play is very multiple and Cutter has shown over the course of his career in high school to be an extremely versatile and productive player. His upside is tremendous.”

(Westminster College photo) Coach Benzel directing the Titans.

On what he expects for the team this fall, Coach Benzel said, “The outlook and expectations for our team in 2021 is very high. Coming off a conference championship with a veteran core returning should put us as a legitimate Top 25 Team in the Country. We will kickoff the season playing #1 Mt. Union at Harold Burry Stadium on September 4th.”

(Photo by Bri Kirkland – Kirkland Photography) Ethan

Recently retired Coach Larry Wiser, who mentored Cutter and Ethan during their entire varsity careers said, “I am personally looking forward to watching these two gentlemen play at Westminster College.      

I got a chance the past two weeks to watch both of them play with some of the best players in the state. They both represented themselves well in both PSFCA East West Game and CPFCA Lezzer Game.    

“It is my belief that they have the talent and desire to play well at the next level. Westminster is getting two young men who not only can play the game but they have great character.     

“Best wishes Cutter and Ethan enjoy your new journey.”

(Photo by Bri Kirkland – Kirkland Photography) Cutter in action against DuBois

And Coach Dave Eggleton, who was an Assistant Coach and the Wildcats’ new Head Coach, had this to say, “I am really excited to see these young men continue their football careers at the next level. They both are outstanding football players as well as role models for our younger players.

“Ethan had the ability to stretch the field that is rarely seen in our league. He is the best deep threat I have ever coached.

“Cutter is one of the most versatile players I have coached. He has the ability to line up in the back field or at receiver on the offensive side, and on the defensive side he can play in the box or cover guys on the outside.

“They will be greatly missed next year.” 

Ethan’s parents Brian and Laura Burford said this about their son, “Watching Ethan play football has been such a joy!  Whether he plays great or has a night where he’s “off”, he comes home humble and in a good mood. 

“We give Coach Larry Wiser the credit for that. Ethan was so blessed to have been able to be coached by one of the greatest. Coach Wiser understood that these are kids playing football and that they were going to make mistakes all while bringing out the very best in them.

“We are also happy he chose to continue playing at Westminster. The head coach, Coach Benzel, runs a great program that puts the players’ academics first. We are excited that we will have the opportunity to keep watching Ethan play the game he loves.”

And Cutter’s parents, Randy and Marci Boggess, shared, “We have always been proud of Cutter’s achievements both on and off the field. Watching him grow and develop into the fine young man he is can only be described as a blessing. He has had successes academically as well as athletically.

“Coaches Butch Guntrum and Dana Logue, from Union Youth Football to Larry Wiser, Davey Eggleton and Lee Weber have all been instrumental in his accomplishments, as well as other individuals too numerous to list, but no less important.

“Support from his teachers and administration at Clarion Area have helped him develop his academic success to help round himself out.

With his decision to attend Westminster College, we are looking forward to his continued success and growth. We are also enthusiastically awaiting the uncommon opportunity to watch Cutter play with his brother Camden (CAHS class of 2019) and his friend Ethan. Coach Benzel and his staff have a great, successful oft overlooked program that supports all the players. Their philosophy allows for that unique growth of young men, preparing them for success in life after football while winning championships along the way.

“GO TITANS !!!!”

Congratulations to Cutter, Ethan and their families; the Union Youth Football Team; Clarion Bobcats and Central Clarion Wildcats and Westminster Titans!!!!

Wishing Ethan and Cutter great success!!!!

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Some of Cutter and Ethan’s Awards:

Cutter: Graduated with 4.1 GPA; Pennsylvania Football News All-Academic Team 4 years; 4 year letter winner in football and wrestling; Outstanding Senior Award Football; 1st Team PFN All-State Defensive Athlete; 1st Team District Nine League All-Star Linebacker and Slotback; PSFCA East-West 1-3A All-Star Game – West Squad; CPFCA Lezzer Lumber All-Star Classic – North Squad; Varischetti All-Star Game; KSAC Team; Tri-County Weekend/Courier Express Wrestling All-Star; Two time Northwest Regional Wrestling Qualifier.

Ethan: Pennsylvania Football News All-Academic Team; 2019 District Nine League All-Star – 1st Team Wide Receiver/Slot, 2020 District Nine League All-Star – 1st Team Wide Receiver/Slot and Safety; 2019 and 2020 Tri-County Weekend/Courier Express All-Star – Wide Receiver/ 2020 PFN All-State – 1st Team Wide Receiver. PSFCA East-West 1-3A All-Star Game – West Squad; Lezzer Lumber All-Star Classic – North Squad.