Concord returns just 7 starters from Semi-state championship team

Bob Cira: 4,000 yards passing, 46 touchdowns.
Mike Meade: 1,600 yards receiving, 83 receptions and 20 touchdowns.
James Cira: 1,300 yards receiving, 74 receptions, and 16 touchdowns.
Monty Marion: 1,300 yards rushing, 21 touchdowns.

Those numbers produced one of the most explosive offenses in Indiana last year and were a main reason the Concord Minutemen won the 4A Semi-State Championship.

But now all those numbers have graduated along with 11 other starters.

The Minutemen will have a new quarterback, new running back and two new wide receivers when they begin the 2007 season August 17th on the road at East Noble.

"Last year was so special," 19-year head coach Tim Dawson said. "I said at the state finals that the toughest thing was that being the last game to coach those seniors because they were a special group of kids."

"We wrote the Concord history books, but it is history," Dawson continued. "You put that behind you. We have a lot of experienced kids that got a lot of playing time and I think they are looking forward to seeing what they can do this year."

Because of Concord's explosive offense, its defense often got over-looked in 2006. Now that defense could turn into the backbone of the team.

The Minutemen have 4 starters back on defense including sack leader Ryan McKee. The senior recorded 15 sacks last season.

"We have a great defense this year," McKee said. "I think we can focus more on that and hold the opposing offenses to less points and make it easier on our offense."

McKee will also start on the offensive line. He will protect new junior quarterback David Yoder.

Yoder says he learned a lot studying under Bob Cira.

"It definitely helped a lot," Yoder explained. "I got to watch him for the last two years. He definitely helped out and made me better. He was just an excellent quarterback."

Concord knows having another outstanding season begins with defending its Northern Lakes Championship.

But can the Minutemen make another run in 2007 at State?

"Every season is play to get to the Dome," McKee said. "We expect nothing less. That's always the goal and it probably is very every high school football team out there---to get to the state championship game and win it."

"Its definitely one of our goals to get back there and hopefully come out victorious this time."

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