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Something Unique In Athletics

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He threw for more yards in his high school career than notable Hoosiers Jeff George, Rex Grossman, and Rick Mirer. Bob Cira’s name can be found in archived newspaper articles from all across the state of Indiana. After all, he led his football team, The Concord Rough Riders of Elkhart, Indiana to the state championship game in 2006. That being said, with Bob Cira you won’t find the normal hype that surrounds most outstanding high school athletes today.

Bob Cira has clearly achieved more in high school football than most of his peers. Especially in 2006, his senior year, he threw for 3,931 passing yards, fifth all time in the state of Indiana. He threw for 8,464 yards in his career, seventh all time in the state of Indiana. While Cira was starting quarterback, Concord’s win loss record was 30-8. They nearly won the state championship 2006, but lost in a heartbreaker in the final game to Cathedral. Bob was voted to play in the Indiana High School Coaches Association North versus South All star game. He was a captain for his team. This was his last high school game, before college.

 Bob Cira looks fluid when he passes. His body remains perfectly stable as he generates force through his shoulder. His spirals are as tight as any passer you’ll see and they get to his receivers quickly. This is not to say that Bob is stationary when quarterbacking; he’ll avoid the rush by agilely zipping up the field.

In Bob’s final high school game, (the July All-Star exhibition) he was the starting quarterback. When it was time for the coins to be tossed, he didn’t push his way to the front in view of the camera men. He hesitated and then quietly went to the middle of the field crowded out by eager players.

He started three of his four years at Concord high school, where they designed a shotgun offense just for his unique skill set. One lifetime Elkhartian said that Concord had never used a shotgun formation before Cira, as long as he could remember.

In the game, he dodged some of Indiana’s biggest football player’s like 6'5" Max Demond and 6'3", 280-pound linebacker Jeff Boyd. He shared quarterbacking duties with an athlete named Eric Watt. When Watt passed for a touchdown, Cira smiled and cheered on with the rest of his teammates. He wasn’t yelling out clichés, but his manner was uniquely dignified for a star high school quarterback.

His team, the North squad, was down 7-0 at halftime. I asked him if he was frustrated in the first half, and he said, "No, I actually thought I did pretty good, I completed most of my passes.”

It’s not that Bob lacks confidence; he seems to be proud of his accomplishments. “I believe that pressure is what you make it,” he said. However, being a star quarterback hasn’t gone to his head. He’s just an ordinary guy.

When a reporter asked him if he had a lot of options from colleges, he said he didn't. But he wasn’t embarrassed but simply stating what was. He isn’t unsure of his abilities, though, Bob says, “I believe that pressure is what you make it.”

His twin brother James has very similar mannerisms, according to a local. One difference is that his twin brother James is a receiver. They both will be attending Olivet Nazarene in Illinois, a Christian liberal arts school 50 minutes south of Chicago. ONU Football is highly competitive in the NIAA, with several national playoff appearances.

When deciding his next move in life, he said he really liked Olivet Nazarene University as a school, as well as the coaching staff. His college coach, Gary Newsome, likes Bob as a quarterback. “Bob is mobile, quick on his feet, quick thinking, and has a very good arm. I believe the offense that he is coming from will be very beneficial to us.”

He is genuinely excited about his future. He’s interested in majoring in business, and spends time at his church. When asked about playing football with his brother at Olivet Nazarene, he was truly excited.

His team did ultimately win the All Star game, and he looked pleased. Cira’s stat line was 6-12 completions for 50 yards. Watt had 5-10 completions for 41 yards with one interception, one touchdown and two sacks taken. The other quarterback, Eric Watt, was named Most Valuable player. Bob Cira and Eric Watt showed no rivalry and consulted each other about strategy and who coach said was going in next.

Finding young people who not completely filled with enamor for themselves is difficult. But then again it’s hard to find a high school quarterback in the state of Indiana who is like Bob Cira. Some feel that he’ll get a chance to play at Division I. All that seems irrelevant ultimately, it seems as though Bob represents more than just his accomplishments in football.

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