I read about the Quincy High School football program giving the Rob McIntyre Award to one of its players. Who was Rob McIntyre?
McIntyre played offensive tackle and defensive end for the Blue Devils, graduating in 1981. He was named to The Herald-Whig's All-Area team in 1980.
He went on to play for Indiana State on an athletic scholarship, but McIntyre's career for the Sycamores was injury plagued. He was 6-foot-3, 267 pounds and a three-year letterman, and he earned a starting position at defensive tackle during his senior season, his fifth year at ISU.
McIntyre died at age 22 on Dec. 11, 1985.
Mark Boster was a teammate of McIntyre's, both at Quincy High School and at Indiana State. He said they were watching television one day when McIntyre first admitted feeling ill.
"He said, ‘Gosh, Mark, I just can't get warm," Boster said. "It just got progressively worse."
When McIntyre had trouble breathing, Boster took him to Union Hospital in Terre Haute, Ind., where it was determined that he had pneumonia and congestion. When his condition worsened, he was transferred to an Indianapolis hospital. Doctors were preparing to perform exploratory surgery to determine why McIntyre was not recovering when he died.
An autopsy showed that McIntyre died due to bleeding into his lungs during surgery.
"We found out that a virus had gotten into one of the heart valves and compromised the heart's ability to pump blood into his system," Boster said.
Paul Koscielski, McIntyre's coach at QHS, was at a loss for words upon learning of his death.
"Rob was a good football player, but as far as I'm concerned, athletic ability doesn't even enter into my thoughts," he said. "He was a fine person. If someone told me today my sons would grow up like him, I'd take it."
More than four dozen teammates and coaches made the trip from Terre Haute to Quincy for services at Salem United Church.
Boster, now pastor of the Shepherd of the Prairie Lutheran Church in Huntley, first became teammates with McIntyre on a basketball team at the Quincy YMCA when they were in the fourth grade, but they became friends when they played football for the Blue Devils.
"He was hard working, tough and a kind-hearted guy," Boster said. "He was just a super human being."
Boster remembered how McIntyre made his 21st birthday particularly special.
"I didn't think anybody on the team had remembered it, let alone my best buddy," Boster said. "Late in the afternoon, we were back in our apartment, and he said, ‘Hey, isn't it your birthday? Why don't we go to the dollar movie?'
"Long story short, he just wanted to get my out of my place so the rest of our buddies would get into the apartment. When we got back from the theater, there were 100 people packed in our place for a party."
McIntyre's parents, Robert and Joyce McIntyre, started the Rob McIntyre Memorial Trophy in 1986. It is given to a QHS football player who exemplified the same attributes as McIntyre.
"Few weeks go by when I don't think of Rob and wonder what he would be doing and what kind of father and what kind of husband he would have been," Boster said.
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