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2013 Inductees
Sabres 1986 Football



Introductory Comments by Kristi Paukstat

Good evening!  Tonight I have the pleasure of sharing this evening with a room full of people who share a common passion:  to preserve and promote competition and camaraderie through athletics in our community.  Many people can participate in a sport of their choice; some may even go on to achieve greatness at higher levels.  Fewer possess the strategies and know-how to inspire others through mentoring and coaching.  These people seldom have additional time and energy to commit to building athletic programs and facilities that can stand the test of time.  Our second inductee tonight, Mr. Ross MacEachern, accomplished all of these and more.

As many of you are aware, Ross spent the vast majority of his career as a phys.ed. teacher and coach right here at the high school in Wetaskiwin.  From 1988 through 1990, I had the honour of being one of his many students.  I recall Ross as an energetic teacher with a great sense of humour, but most importantly, he had a clear passion for competition.  You couldnít help but share his enthusiasm for whichever unit he was about to teach, be it badminton, basketball, or even dance.  Although my interests lied in volleyball and swimming, he managed to talk me into representing our school through golf and curling.  He must have known what he was doing because they are two sports that remain near and dear to me today.  Ross took a sincere interest in the well-being of all of his students.  He was happiest when sharing in their progress, but was always there to console after their defeats.

One of my most vivid memories from high school was the anticipation and excitement throughout the hallways as the canoe trip was approaching; a yearly event that wouldnít have happened without Rossís leadership and innovation.

In speaking with some of his former students, who were also coached by him, a common theme emerged.  Ross always made time to work with his students to get them prepared to compete at the next level.  He was generous with his expertise; and with his vast experience he always knew how to help improve their skills both mentally and physically.  Ross grew athletes; from swimming and gymnastics to track and field and football!

Ross may have come by some of his athletic prowess through the guidance of his mother, Norma MacEachern, who was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame as an athlete in 2006.  It appears her lasting influence helped to create a wave of athleticism throughout Rossís family, including his children and grandchildren.

Although Ross and his wife Colleen spend winters away in Arizona, golfing and enjoying retirement, the lasting mark of his accomplishments are here to remind us daily.

It only takes one person to show confidence in an athlete before they can take it on themselves.  Over the years, Ross must have instilled thousands of students with the strength to reach beyond their limits and strive for more.  On behalf of every student and teammate Ross has inspired and encouraged, I am thrilled to be able to take this opportunity to recognize him.  Thank you, Ross, for making our community a better and healthier place to call home.

Read Ross's acceptance speech.

Return to Ross MacEachern Inductee Page






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