Cathedral’s Mire progressing on field, leading team to wins

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, October 27, 2015

NATCHEZ — Cathedral quarterback Connor Mire had one of the most forgettable debut plays at quarterback in high school football, but it is one he won’t forget.

Why? Because that is what has made him into the player he is today.

“The plays I look at are the plays that I messed up on because it helps me move forward,” Mire said. “It isn’t supposed to happen, but I knew going in I was going to be nervous.”

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The first play as a varsity starter for Mire was a sack, which resulted in a fumble recovered by the defense. But the junior hasn’t turned back since.

Mire went on to lead his team to victory in the first game of the 2015 season, throwing for 139 yards and a touchdown, and has subsequently led the Green Wave to seven more wins this season.

“I have total confidence in him,” Cathedral head coach Ron Rushing said. “He takes a lot of pressure and chewings just because of the position he plays, but he handles that extremely well and understands that playing quarterback, he is going to have to take some criticism.”

But with an 8-2 record, more than 1,300 passing yards and 16 passing touchdowns, more praise has come Mire’s way than criticism.

“He is a student of the game,” Rushing said. “He wants to learn and is very knowledgeable. Seeing him progress throughout the year and seeing that maturity, I’m really pleased with what he does.”

Mire has been a student of the game for quite some time, though, dating back to his days of AYA.

“My dad has always been on me, but he wants me to be the best I can be,” Mire said. “He pushed me hard. When I played AYA, he was the coach. I’ve always been a quarterback and knew I had to be the best I could.”

But being the best would take some time, as Mire found himself watching more than playing early in his high school career.

“He got a lot of reps in last year in backup duty,” Rushing said. “But he throws the ball really well and puts in a lot of time going to offseason camps. We just felt personnel wise, he was the guy to go with this year.”

So suddenly, a team coming off a state championship victory was handed to a young man yet to prove himself.

“It is like a roller coaster because you never really know,” Mire said of his first season as a starter. “You can watch as much film as possible, but you still have teams that come out completely different than what you see.”

Not only did Mire have to learn about other teams, he also had to master one of the most fluent offensive minds around in Rushing.

“He says a lot of things and that he is going to do a lot of things,” Mire said. “He’ll throw some stuff at you. It’ll be the simplest play ever, but he dresses things up. He tells me a ton of things. Some things we do, some things we don’t, and some things we do he didn’t tell me we were going to do.”

Now, Mire and the Green Wave face their biggest hurdle yet in the first round of the playoffs this week. But even for a first time starter, Rushing isn’t worried.

“He is level headed and focused,” Rushing said. “Connor will be fine. He runs the offense well and he has all year.”

And although Mire already has a state championship, he said it would be much different to do it as the team’s starting quarterback.

“It would be awesome and I have the players around me to do it,” he said. “It just comes down to me stepping up, everybody else stepping up and us doing what we are coached to do. There is no doubt we can make it there and can win, we just have to do what we are coached to do and come together.”