ECHS Feels Loss of Junior Cheerleader

by Chris Goltermann

alt


For East Coweta's football program on Tuesday, it was heartbreak on top of heartbreak.

As difficult as it may be to focus on the field following a three-point loss and a nationally ranked opponent about to enter their home stadium, the school received news that junior cheerleader Madeline McTier had passed away after an extended battle with cancer.

'It made me sick hearing that,' Indians head coach Clint Wade said. 'I had a tough time coming out here today for practice. Just a real good family.'

McTier's older brother, Mitch, was a starting offensive center for the Indians before graduating in 2012, just months after his sister underwent surgery to remove the golf ball-sized tumor on the base of her brain.

Funeral arrangements had not been announced as of deadline on Tuesday. Students on social media sites were encouraging each other to wear pink throughout Coweta County schools today in support of Madeline.

In a post on Twitter, Mitch said the family had requested for attendees to 'bring your favorite photo with Madeline and write out your favorite memory.'

East Coweta High School Principal Evan Horton said Tuesday that the school plans to check with the McTier family's wishes before announcing any tributes possibly planned for Friday's game against Sandy Creek at Garland Shoemake Stadium. The school hosted its annual 'Pink Out' softball game for breast cancer awareness on Monday against Northgate.

While trying to turn their attention to this week's important showdown against defending Class AAAA state champion Sandy Creek, Indians players and coaches certainly had the McTier family on their minds heading into this week's game.

'We're definitely going to be playing for her on Friday,' said senior linebacker Jay McKnight. 'That game is going to be dedicated to her. It's just a sad story.'

Madeline, who also competed with ACE Cheer Company in Atlanta, was diagnosed in March 2012 after suffering headaches that sent her to the emergency room. She had just gone through physical therapy for an apparent neck sprain suffered the previous fall and an initial MRI had missed detection of the tumor.

'Such a good girl. It's hard,' said Indians defensive assistant and track coach Trace Overton. 'God takes the good ones for some reason.'

In the 18 months following surgery, she received several rounds of both radiation and chemotherapy, her last dose coming in mid-June. She made a beach trip shortly afterward to celebrate. But she spent much of the last two months in and out of hospitals as her health took a turn for the worse.

'You never know when your time is and you can never take anything for granted. I'm just glad she's not suffering anymore,' said Trinity Christian head coach and ECHS football alumnus Chris Hanson, a neighbor of the McTiers. 'You look back at all the lives that she's impacted and God had his purpose. Her legacy will live on and she'll continue to save others. We never really know God's plan or why. She's a special girl and they're a special family.'



More Local

Fall fests, Halloween events on tap

The last weekend before Halloween arrives Saturday, and there are loads of Halloweenish things to do in the local area. Some of them are buc ... Read More


Four arrested for using fake $100 bills

Four men are possibly facing federal charges after attempting to use counterfeit $100 bills at The Home Depot on 1100 Bullsboro Drive. Robe ... Read More


Rape trial resumes today

The fate of accused rapist Benjamin Gray will be in the hands of the jury today. Closing arguments in the sleepwalking rape trial are schedu ... Read More


Perdue: broad energy policy needed

Campaigning in Newnan on Thursday, U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue said the nation needs a broad energy policy – one that includes ... Read More


Passenger injured in 2-car wreck on Hwy. 29

A Newnan man was seriously injured in a crash Thursday at Hwy. 29 and Weldon Road. James Hand was taken to Atlanta Medical Center by Coweta ... Read More

County delays retirement plan changes

A decision on an amendment to the retirement plan for county employees that would allow employees to participate in both the old pension pla ... Read More