Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

December 1, 2013

COLUMN ONE: 1988 Goshen state champs were a special bunch

GOSHEN — For those of us who attended Goshen High School at the time, there was never any doubt. There was only destiny.

That’s how it felt in the school’s hallways, in the lunch line and in every class room during the fall of 1988. And that’s especially how it felt under the lights on Friday nights at Foreman Field, or anywhere else the high-powered Goshen Redskins suited up for a football game.

We were going to win. We were going to be perfect. We were going to be state champions.

And that’s how it came to pass, one victory stacking up against another until Goshen was at the top of the heap where we all knew we belonged.

“We were such a tight team, more like a family,” All-American quarterback Rick Mirer told The Goshen News several years ago following his induction into the Indiana football Hall of Fame. “Not all football teams are like that.”

The 1988 Goshen Redskins were indeed special as they steamrolled through the regular season and playoffs in record-setting style, outscoring opponents 524-130. The season culminated with a dramatic 24-10 4A state championship game win over Franklin Central inside the now demolished Indianapolis Hoosier Dome (just four years old at the time). This past Tuesday marked the 25th anniversary of that victory.

Mirer unleashed an historic performance against Franklin Central, throwing for a 4A state title game record 395 yards that still stands today. And the last GHS pass of his career stands as the most memorable — an iconic connection with Nick Rudolph that went for 90 yards and sealed the deal in the closing moments.

Mirer went on to be a three-year starter for Notre Dame and played in the Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Cotton Bowl. He was the second overall draft pick by the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks in 1993, spent 12 seasons in the league and was a backup quarterback for the 2002 Oakland Raiders who lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Super Bowl.

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