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Cheer coach leaves legacy of love, laughter

When Katie Mendenhall graduated from Fresno Christian in 1993, she had no inkling that she would one day return to take over the job of one of her own teachers.

With longtime cheer coach Eunie McEntee retiring after 25 years on campus, Mendenhall plans to step up to fill the shoes of head coach after a one-year stint as assistant coach.

“She is an answer to prayer,” McEntee said. “I had been praying for a very long time for someone to take over my job. She has been such a big help to me so I want to help her now.”

Mendenhall was involved with cheerleading from the 7th grade through high school. She was also a part of the team that placed second in nationals.

“”Nobody could ever ‘fill’ Mrs. Mac’s shoes,”” Mendenhall said. “”She is simply the best at what she does, but I feel I understand her goals, vision and purpose for teaching girls what cheerleading is all about.””

When looking for a replacement, McEntee focused on finding someone that would be an inspiration and encouragement to the girls on the squad.

“I wanted someone who can help the girls grow spiritually,” McEntee said. “I know Katie loves the girls and wants them to have fun and do their best.”

Mendenhall does not hope to fill McEntee’s shoes but plans to put her own twist on things as she upholds the old standards.

“I am not going to try and fill her shows; they’re too big,” Mendenhall said. “I am going to try and continue the standards she has made for the squad. I’m lucky to have cheered under her because now I know which things to carry on and how I can add my own twist.”

The cheer team is sad at McEntee’s imminent departure but feel that the transition will be a positive one.

“We are all sad that she is leaving because she has helped us have so much fun,” Teryn Pruett, ’05, said. “But Katie will also do a good job and will love us just as much. I think that it will be a hard transition but a very good one.”

For more information about the cheer team, contact McEntee at 299-1695, ext. 132.

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