Cullen Boudreaux’s best Christmas present was not something he opened this morning.
It was a letter the Terrebonne High School junior catcher received in October stating that he was one of 144 high school baseball players selected to participate in the Under Armour Baseball Factory Christmas Camp and Tournament at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla.
Boudreaux, 16, is leaving Monday for the annual camp, which will be held at the Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training Complex. The four-day camp begins Tuesday and will include workouts, speakers and tournament games.
“As each day goes by and it gets closer and closer, I get more excited,” he said. “I truly realized how blessed I am out of many kids that wanted to experience this. I amazed that I will get to experience this, and it’s really a dream come true.”
E.D. White Catholic’s Jordan Szush and Covenant Christian Academy’s Logan Arceneaux were each invited to camp but declined.
Lanc Crochet, who runs the South Louisiana Select travel baseball team, said the camp is a great opportunity for Boudreaux to showcase his talents.
“He is a strong kid who loves to work hard,” Crochet said. “He has no problem putting in the work to become a better player. Whatever happens at the camp, he will only get better as a player and will get exposure on a national level.”
After playing with South Louisiana Select for more than two years, Crochet said Boudreaux has the work ethic and determination to leave his mark at this week’s camp.
“He has been a great leader for our team and is always pushing his teammates to get better,” he said. “He is great behind the plate, but he has the talent to play multiple positions, such as first base and pitcher. He is a bulldog because he goes out there and competes.”
Boudreaux’s ticket to the Christmas Camp started on Sept. 25 when he attended a tryout at Chalmette High School with 34 other high school baseball players from around the state.
In the past 22 years, the Baseball Factory has helped more than 75,000 players earn a college scholarship and even helped paved the way for some to Major League Baseball, including Bryce Harper (Washington Nationals), Josh Donaldson (Toronto Blue Jays), David Wright (New York Mets) and Roy Halladay (Philadelphia Phillies).
Boudreaux said he is hoping to catch the eye of a college or professional baseball scout.
“This is how I actually start my career by showcasing my talents to all of these scouts,” he said.
Although he is only a junior, Boudreaux is already attracting some interest from colleges, as he is already on the radar for the 2018 signing classes at Nicholls State University, University of Virginia, Alabama State University, University of Arkansas-Monticello and Brookhaven College.
Boudreaux has been working hard with Terrebonne assistant baseball coach Jamie Delahoussaye to get ready for the camp. Boudreaux’s goal is to make the Top 24 and punch his ticket to the All-American Game, which will be played during the summer at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
“Having an opportunity to possibly play in Wrigley Field is serving as my motivation to do well at this showcase,” he said. “It would be a dream to play on the same field as the World Series champion Chicago Cubs.”
After weeks of waiting, Boudreaux said he is eager and excited for the Under Armour Baseball Factory Christmas Camp and Tournament.
“Growing up, I never thought that I would get a chance to showcase my talents like this,” Boudreaux said. “Every day that comes by I feel more and more blessed that I will be getting this opportunity. I really thank my parents, coaches and teammates for helping make this possible.”