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Alumni return, honor cheer coach

They’re back and it’s Homecoming. Alumni have been spotted around campus, many of them who graduated almost 10 years ago. Arms were outstretched in the anticipation of a group hug with long-time cheer coach, Eunie McEntee.

During the October 7 cheer clinic, it became apparent to many that this would be McEntee’s last year on campus after the announcer revealed her plans.

When the cheer clinic started, nostalgia was evident on many parents’ faces as they watched their daughters stand where they once used to.

“I made sure my husband brought the video camera so he could film Keligh, 6, cheering just like I used to do,” Katie [Boozer] Mendenhall, ’93, said. “I’m really glad my daughter had the opportunity to know Mrs. Mac because she’s been such an influential person in my life.”

The cheer clinic kids constructed a three-person pyramid and, when the top girl fell and scraped her knee, their parents strained to capture their child’s moment in the spotlight with video cameras.

“I felt very proud when I saw my daughter Kelly, 9, cheering on the field,” Janet [Eidson] Wages, ’95, said. “It reminded me of my time in high school as a cheerleader.”

McEntee has influenced students for almost 24 years. Her unique appeal has left an impression on people; they never will forget her or her personality.

“Mrs. Mac is unforgettable because of her happy spirit and her goofy personality,” Melissa Bump, ’05, said. “I have so many memories of her just being herself but making us laugh until our stomachs hurt!”

McEntee holds many special memories from her 24 years on campus close to her heart. The main ones involve her sons on campus, enabling her to be a part of their growing up years in high school.

“I loved having my boys around all the time,” McEntee said. “Whether they liked it or not, those were some of my best years teaching on campus.”

According to McEntee, her favorite class to teach was Bible during her years on campus. But all in all, she just loved the fellowship with everyone around her and the worship of God on campus.

Although McEntee is leaving the teaching ranks, she has plans for the future and said, “I’m not retiring . . . I’m redirecting!”

She will be missed not only by students and alumni, but also her close friends and her co-workers.

“I will never forget Eunie taking me under her wing when I first started working on campus,” Scott Callisch, athletic director and boys’ P.E. teacher, said. “She made me a tuna and mustard sandwich everyday for lunch.”

McEntee also created a campus tradition by hosting an annual themed brunch for faculty and staff prior to the first day of school.

“Mrs. McEntee’s lunch has made going back to school an event I have looked forward to every year,” Scott Falk, campus pastor, said. “There’s nothing like starting off the year with a feast?Mac-style.” The brunch meetings also included a sing-along of original songs written by McEntee for the occasion.

Coaching cheer is also one of her fondest recollections; she will miss seeing her “girls” everyday.

“I feel like I’m handing over my baby,” McEntee said. “But God answered my prayers and gave former cheerleader, Katie [Mendenhall] and alumni Stephanie [Pohl] Patterson, to me to take over what was mine for so many years.”

Instead of making lunches for staff, leading the girls’ P.E department and coaching cheer next school year, McEntee will be spreading God’s word for three months as a missionary in Belgium with her husband Dave.

Former students who wish to contact McEntee before she retires can email her at [email protected] or call 297-9464, ext. 132.

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  • J

    John DinsdaleAug 26, 2009 at 11:27 am

    So at least when I graduate and start a family… and then I have grandchildren… and then I pass away, there will be one thing left of me that will never die. And that is this picture.

    I give props to Brittany Stobbe for catching me in the act. Real nice.