One of Center Grove High School’s most heralded athletes returned to the site where he accomplished one of the most incredible feats of his young 24 years of life. Jordan Luallen was at Lucas Oil Stadium this past Thanksgiving weekend not as a player, but as the assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Washington Redskins. The Redskins were in town to play the Indianapolis Colts.
coaches that were truly like family to me.” Center Grove head football coach Eric Moore said seeing Luallen on the sidelines at the Redskins-Colts game brought tears to his eyes. Luallen was Moore’s high school varsity quarterback from 2005-2008.
The last time Luallen graced the sidelines of Lucas Oil Stadium, was Thanksgiving weekend of 2008. He was Center Grove’s senior quarterback, playing in the IHSAA Class 5A State Championship against rival Carmel. Luallen rallied the Trojans from a 19-point deficit in the final six-minutes of the title game to claim the school’s first football state championship, 36-33.
Leadership Never Quits Moore remembers Luallen’s words at the pep rally following the championship, “I was really bad in the first half. I’m glad you stuck around.” However, Moore said, “Boy he was good when it counted in the second half. He pretty much put the team on his shoulders and ran with the ball, threw the ball, called the right play and got us in the right situation. We never quit. We weren’t going to be denied. Everyone contributed in the final six minutes.”
It’s been six years since that miraculous come from behind win. “It was very surreal to return to Lucas Oil Stadium,” Luallen recalls. “My greatest and fondest achievement as an athlete will always be winning the 2008 State Championship. Because I did it with my best friends and
“Jordan is the epitome of a student-athlete,” Moore beamed. “He was a great student in high school and he’s a great competitor. Just great character traits. I’m not sure I’ve had a more well balanced kid at his age and accomplished everything he accomplished by maintaining great character and great
work ethic and excellent academics and an excellent athlete. Jordan is the all-time champion of winning I’ve ever been around. He was a winner with compassion. It’s hard to beat a guy like that… that football field was his sanctuary. I don’t think I’ve coached a kid in 35 years that liked football practice as much I do. I think Jordan Luallen enjoyed practice more than me,” said Moore. “Coach Moore is like a second father to me,” said Luallen. “He put more time and effort in helping develop me than you can imagine. I can’t count the number of hours he spent helping me with my throwing motion, all the way back to fourth grade. One of the greatest influences I’ve ever had in my life.” Luallen started at quarterback midway through his high school freshman season. “I can remember him throwing his first touchdown pass,” Moore reflected. “I can probably remember more about him as an athlete in my program than anyone else because he shared so much with me. He never left practice without giving me a hug and telling me he loved me.”
Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Miami (OH) Redhawks - Homecoming game
atCenterGrove.com / JANUARY 2015 / CENTER GROVE COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER / 47