Seven players on that team earned some level of All-State recognition. They included Mirer, Rudolph, Mike Moon, standout senior linebacker Rich Perrin, senior linebacker Paul Holdeman, junior running back Jim Hoke and senior offensive tackles Matt Bower and Trevor Kercher.
Rudolph, who had no problem making diving catches back in the day, went on to graduate from Ball State University and is a senior account executive for Information Technology Consulting & Staffing Services in Phoenix.
“We were a well-coached, very disciplined, band of brothers with a common goal and the entire community came together and supported us in achieving that goal,” he said. “There’s a great deal of pride in being associated with a team of winners and I cherish those memories.”
Bit of a scare
As dominant as Goshen was in 1988, there was a moment the dream was in jeopardy. In the regional game at Foreman Field, New Haven held the Redskin offense in check and even led 2-0 at halftime. With just 2:39 left in the game, and Goshen leading 10-8, New Haven lined up for a 25-yard field goal attempt that would have given it the lead. The kick narrowly missed wide and Goshen held on for the win.
Bower, one of the unsung anchors of Goshen’s complex and often times undersized offensive line, remembers that moment well; not because of the surge of relief it allowed, but because of the sense of determination it summoned.
“I remember standing on the sideline, thinking that it didn’t matter,” Bower said. “Even if New Haven made that kick, we would find a way to win the game. We had put in too much hard work, and had committed too fully, for anyone to deprive us of our destiny. It may sound naive, and it probably was, but I spent that season sincerely convinced that no one could beat us unless we quit.”