Archive for Thursday, March 7, 2002

McPherson to say goodbye to EHS

March 7, 2002

Larry McPherson has enjoyed watching generations of talented athletes compete for the Cardinals' sports teams.

"I've always enjoyed the kids," McPherson said. "Watching them grow up from kindergarten is kind of nice."

McPherson, who is in his 32nd and final year as the activities director at Eudora High School, was recently chosen as District Athletic Director of the Year by the Kansas Interscholastic Activities Administrators Association for the third time in his career.

As an activities director at Eudora, McPherson has been responsible for scheduling games, making sure referees are present, coordinating help for the scorers' tables, and a variety of other duties.

McPherson said he wasn't sure who nominated him or what he did to receive the award. KIAAA rules say that another active athletic director must nominate a candidate.

However, he is looking forward to finding out whether he will win his first State Athletic Director of the Year award at the KIAAA convention March 16 in Manhattan.

McPherson will give a speech in the afternoon and discover whether he won the honor that evening.

Over the years, McPherson recalls state playoff appearances by the volleyball, wrestling, track and field, boys basketball and girls basketball teams and the recent success of the football team.

for the kids in school," McPherson said. "Getting in the new high school made it easier from my standpoint. It was hard to handle crowds in that old building."

A native of nearby McLouth, McPherson earned a degree in education/industrial arts from McPherson College in McPherson in 1963. He also played football and ran track at the school.

McPherson taught and coached at Haviland and Bennington before arriving in Eudora in 1968. He taught woodworking, drafting and industrial arts and was an assistant coach for football and softball and a junior high basketball coach before taking over the activities director role here in 1970.

Eudora Middle School Athletic Director Dave Durkin will take over McPherson's role at the high school at the end of the school year.

McPherson hopes retirement will provide him and his wife more time to travel and visit their family in Texas. He also enjoys reading, woodworking and being active in the Eudora community.

He said watching the football team become the pride of Eudora has been excellent for the kids on the team.

"From my standpoint, I work just as hard if we are 0-10 or 10-0, but it's fun to watch them win," McPherson said. "It's good for the kids."

McPherson thinks Eudora will continue to enjoy success on the gridiron despite head coach Aaron Barnett's departure.

"It's been fun to watch, and we've tried for a long time to get it there," McPherson said of the program. "I expect it to (stay at the same level), and with the kids we have in school, I'd say it will."

McPherson said he was very fortunate to have watched former Eudora athletes Chris Abel, Ron Abel, Dave Durkin, Don Durkin, Don Grosdidier and Gretchen Schreiner become coaches at their alma mater.

"I try to keep track of them all the way through college," McPherson said. "I'm always trying to recruit coaches."

Schreiner, now in her second season as the head varsity girls basketball coach, said McPherson was the same student-oriented activities director she knew as a Eudora senior in 1992.

"Larry's focus is on the kids, and a lot of times you don't see that in administrators," Schreiner said. "Larry has a real good heart, and he wants to do what's best for the kids."

McPherson counts tournaments and substates as some of the most difficult and time-consuming events to manage. He said it was important for Eudora to have those events for the benefit of Eudora students.

"Tournaments are always challenging but you do it

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