Notre Dame Regional High School

Cape Girardeau, MO

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It’s been 108 years since people first set foot on the geographic South Pole in Antarctica. Two years ago, Notre Dame alumnus William Lindman (‘05) did the same, serving as a water plant operator at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station - a scientific research base - for nearly ten months.

Lindman’s desire to travel to the bottom of the world came after his graduation from Lindenwood University, during his time with the Peace Corps in Uganda. Here, he served as a water sanitation volunteer for a little over two years, then he headed back home to work for the city water plant in Cape Girardeau. 

When he was looking for a new job three years later, Lindman settled into the habit of watching Netflix documentaries while he worked on his resume. “A Year On Ice” - which chronicles one man’s isolated journey of living for a year in Antarctica - began playing one night, and again piqued his interest. 

“I put everything down and started watching it. There were all of these people on Antarctica, and I thought, ‘They have to have water personnel there, right?’” said Lindman. “I did a Google search and sure enough, there were some open positions.”

Since the summer season was ending, he was quickly hired for the research station’s winter personnel, and flew out in January of 2016. 

A Small Civilization

Although it was winter back in the states, it was the end of summer and a balmy 40 degrees below zero in Antarctica when Lindman arrived. Transitioning seasons, the population at the base dropped along with the temperature, from 150 people to a skeleton crew of about 50. They had everything from carpenters to plumbers, from IT professionals to physicians. Collectively, their job was to keep the facility operational and to maintain projects until the summer crew could return.

“I’d like to compare it to everything that makes a community work, so it was quite a variety of backgrounds,” said Lindman. “It was pretty interesting to see how we were able to work together without really knowing each other.”

With the variety of people came a variety of nationalities, too. It was a U.S. base, but they had personnel from Germany, Canada, and New Zealand. Lindman said there were about seven scientists among the crew. Some were monitoring air quality and ozone restoration, while others were working on the South Pole Telescope (SPT). 

“Essentially, the South Pole is the only place in the world where you can look at one section of sky for a continuous amount of time, due to Earth’s rotation,” said Lindman. “They’re able to look so far back into the universe to try and understand the origins of the Big Bang - that sort of thing.”

In the summer months, more research is conducted on space through a program nicknamed “Ice Cube,” where scientists at the station send probes into a square-mile block of ice in search of a particle called “neutrinos.” 

“I know there was a lot of core sampling going on, too,” said Lindman. 

Burning The Midnight Ice

Lindman’s main responsibility as a water systems operator at the base was ensuring safe drinking water for their personnel. The first step in that process was to melt ancient ice. 

“We were essentially cleaning water that was estimated to be around 2,000 years old,” said Lindman. “We were monitoring it and adding a small amount of chemicals to bring the pH level up to what humans can consume.”

He monitored the system with regulations set by the Department of Natural Resources, most of them requiring Lindman to “just record a lot of numbers.” 

“I had to keep track of how much chemical we were using, what the water flows were, making sure our chemicals were actually pumping correctly, and grabbing samples throughout the station to make sure weren’t actually losing water anywhere,” said Lindman.

In Antarctica, the sun rises and sets once a year, and the majority of Lindman’s term took place during the night: eight months of darkness. 

“All the windows were boarded up to prevent light pollution from exiting the station, because we had all of these cameras set up, capturing the auroras and star patterns,” said Lindman. “So it was pretty interesting to be in a building that you’re not seeing the sunlight at all. It’s not something you’re used to.”

Before working at the station, employees are required to go through psychological training and medical screenings to ensure they’re able to handle the isolation. Lindman fared fine, despite his nocturnal work hours. 

“I was working the midnight to 8 a.m. shift, so when most of the station was sleeping, I was awake. And when I was getting off work, the station was getting ready to go to work. So I didn’t have much interaction with people,” said Lindman. “That was kind of weird, because you can't really base your sleep schedule off of your circadian rhythms. It’s constantly dark, and breakfast was my main meal.”

With a low of negative 108 degrees, layering up became second nature for Lindman. This included the stereotypical, oversized, red coats people wear in pictures when you Google “Antarctica.” And, keeping his gear with him in the event of an emergency was a lesson he learned quickly.

“There were a couple of times that an alarm came in the middle of the night that I was a first responder to, since I was one of the two people who were up at that time,” said Lindman. “Once, there was a low oxygen alarm in the cryogenics building - that’s where they do the core sampling. I went out there and I had most of my gear, but not all of it. It got really cold.”

Back To Sunshine

Coming home proved to be a bit of a culture shock for Lindman. It was nice to eat a lot of food and meet with friends, but one basic task stood out to him immediately upon his return.

“At the end of the season, I remember flying into Chicago and renting a car to get to a job interview up north,” said Lindman. “But I realized I hadn’t actually driven a car in like, ten and a half months now. I literally had only been walking. I remember putting the car in reverse to back out of the spot, and going back and forth.”

Although there are parts of him that miss Antarctica, Lindman would most likely turn down an offer to go back. Being there was a challenge, especially when he missed out on events, weddings, and time with family and friends. 

“I’m almost 30 years old and I’m married now, so it would be hard to change all that,” said Lindman. “I remember the day I was leaving, I was with a group of people waiting for the plane and I wandered off by myself. I sat looking at the horizon, and I was thinking to myself, ‘This will probably be the last time you will ever see this.’ You know, I can go anywhere in the world, but this place is a challenge to get to, and I said my goodbyes then.”

The Notre Dame Effect

Reflecting on how Notre Dame has played a role in his personal growth, Lindman recalled one summer in particular where he had gotten himself into a bit of trouble. 

“I was grounded for the entire summer, and Brother David found out about that. There was a mission trip to St. Louis coming up, so he called and asked, ‘I know you’re not doing much, so what about going on this trip?’” said Lindman. 

He agreed, and even had a great time. 

“It sparked my interest in travelling and in serving others, which my parents had already instilled in me, but I was thinking, ‘Yeah, I could do more.” said Lindman.  

Sometimes Lindman wonders what would’ve happened if he hadn’t been reached out to that summer. Would his life have been completely different? He thinks so.

“The friends I made there were all so supportive of my life of service. My best friend, who graduated with me in 2005, we talk every couple of days and even send care packages,” said Lindman. “I think Notre Dame definitely gave me a lasting impact for my future, and I’m extremely grateful for that.”

Lindman now works in water treatment in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and travels regularly with his wife. The 29-year-old is angling to set foot on every Earthly continent, and he has just one more to go: Asia. 

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Ryan Eftink (‘95) has a passion for barbecue. He loves eating it, he loves cooking it, and he loves manufacturing tools to make the American pastime the best it can be through his family’s grill company, Smokin’ Brothers.

It Runs In The Family

As a kid growing up in Oran, Missouri, Eftink remembers shadowing his dad at the grill for many a summer gathering. When his parents started a grill distributing company in 2002, what was once a hobby became a business for the whole family. 

Three years later, Eftink and his brother-in-law, Craig, decided to compete in a barbecue contest, what with their extensive knowledge on the cooking method. On a fall day in 2005, the two headed to Hermann, MO for the “BBQ and Brats” Festival. Thus, Smokin’ Brothers was born, and they were hooked on efficient grilling. 

“We started creating our own sauces and rubs, and we sold them through my parent’s company,” said Eftink. “As we grew, we modified the grills we were selling, trying to make them cook better.”

In 2011, they began manufacturing their own line of wood pellet grills, grill accessories and, of course, sauces and rubs. 

“We were tired of dealing with some of the companies and products we were receiving that were from overseas, and they were not the quality that we liked,” said Eftink. 

Boasting the slogan “Your family BBQ will never be the same,” neither were the Eftinks’. They have since found great success in Smokin’ Brothers, Inc, evolving to have a presence in 38 states and working with more than 350 dealers. Their headquarters are located across southeast Missouri with a retail store in Cape Girardeau, a factory in Chaffee, and a warehouse in Sikeston. 

Grills, Sauces, and Customer Service

As the company grew from a sales force to a manufacturer, many tough decisions had to be made on what products they would sell, specifically the type of grills. After doing their research, the Eftinks found two to be popular among local consumers. 

“One was a traditional steel grill that was more of an economical purchase, and the other was a top-of-the-line, premiere grill. Think of a Chevy Cobalt versus a Cadillac,” said Eftink. “And we knew there were clients for both of those grills.”

Honing in on accessories, the family considered it all - side shelves, bottom shelves, top grids, bottom grids, grate cleaners, grill cleaners, and more - but they made sure to focus on types that hadn’t been made before. 

“Last year, we came up with an insert for a pellet grill with another company,” said Eftink. “We’ve also got some other accessories we’re coming out with this year that will really revolutionize the pellet grill industry.”

Some of their newest innovations include the “Heat Wave,” a tool which allows consumers to sear their meat without the threat of flare-ups, and a small work station called the “Grill Companion.”

For sauces and rubs, Eftink likes to keep it simple by sticking as closely as they can to their original recipes. They started with a sweet rub, one they now call “Butt The Kitchen Sink.” The other two in the Smokin’ Brothers shop - “Plus The Kitchen Sink” and “Udder Than The Kitchen Sink” - are spicy rubs that were created during the brothers' competitive streak. Their four sauces on the market were named after the men in the family: Craig, Adam, “JR,” and Ryan himself. 

“Not everyone is a sweet barbecue guy. There’s a hot barbecue guy, and there’s also a steak guy. So there’s something for everyone,” said Eftink. “We also believe there are no secrets in barbecue. So we give our recipes out to anyone who asks.”

Products aren’t the only aspect of the business they offer with care in mind, though; quality service ranks equally as high. This in itself, Eftink said, is a “24/7 job.” 

“When you run your own small business, you’re always on call,” said Eftink. “And if there’s a problem, it’s up to you to solve it.”

And to be successful in the manufacturing field, Eftink emphasized the importance in being available, having your product available, and being able to answer questions at any hour - day or night. 

“For some people, your two in the afternoon is their two in the morning,” said Eftink. ”Most of the time the public is understanding, but you still want to be able to give the best customer service possible.”

Made In The U.S.A.

One of the core principles of Smokin’ Brothers is for all of their products to be made in the U.S.A. Eftink knows it sounds cliche, but he’s glad to join a wave of businesses bringing manufacturing and its jobs back to the states.

“Not everyone wants to go to college, and not everyone wants to sit in an office,” said Eftink. “For example, I’ve got a guy welding on the grills, and he’s perfectly okay with not sitting in a cubicle. Now, in a few years, I might need someone sitting in a cubicle answering questions about service, looking at reports and sales statistics, and what market we’d want to attack next.”

To sustain these jobs in the market, Eftink said they’re always looking at ways to be more efficient in production. One recent upgrade - a fiber optic laser - allows them to add an additional revenue stream while cutting production time. 

“It used to take 20 hours to cut my grills out for one week’s worth, but now we can do it in less than eight hours. So there are 32 more hours that machine can be cutting parts for other companies, or other accessories for me,” said Eftink, calling the new process their “manufacturing kickoff.”

Growing Pains

The company’s ownership is split among Eftink, his brother Adam, his brother-in-law Craig, and his mom and dad. Having five people in charge is helpful in the decision-making process, Eftink said, since there “can’t be a tie.”

“When we come up with an idea, we all fill out a form. It’s kind of like a checks and balances where we try to see a product all the way through from the manufacturing to the selling, and to the repurchasing of that product,” said Eftink. “It basically outlines: ‘Does it meet our principles for Smokin’ Brothers? What’s the product? What’s the cost of the product? What’s the marketing scheme? What’s the return on investment? And, what’s the worst case scenario?”

As for communication, Eftink said they have an “interesting” dynamic among the family. 

“We don’t all live in the same area,” said Eftink. “My brother lives in Nashville, my brother-in-law lives up in St. Louis, and I live in Cape, so we have a conference call every two weeks.”

But the distance doesn’t change much in terms of the typical woes that come with running a family business. 

“If you’re doing [business] with your family, you better have a strong relationship,” warned Eftink. “Everyone has their opinions, and you know them well enough to know what buttons to push to get them upset.”

At the end of the day, though, Eftink said everyone understands when it’s time for business, and when it’s time for each of them to be present at home. 

“I’ve made Smokin’ Brothers more of my life than what my wife would like for me to do,” joked Eftink. “There are sacrifices. I have to travel a lot with my business, so I miss things.”

But when he walks through the door, he makes sure to set his phone down and focus on his family. 

“Family has got to be your focal point. You’re working to give your family a better life,” said Eftink. “And that’s what I do this for.”

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If you asked 2011 graduate Jessie Ritter to recall some of her most memorable performances from high school, singing Taylor Swift’s “Fifteen” to an incoming freshman class in Notre Dame’s gymnasium would be somewhere on that list. Less than a decade later would Ritter land a deal with the same record label as the famed pop singer, and not only be performing original songs on stages along the Gulf Coast, but over the air across the country.  

It’s All About Taking The Risk

Notre Dame was the “perfect starting point” for Ritter. As a senior, she organized the school’s annual benefit concert, which gave her insight to the music business world she hoped to pursue post-graduation. Being cast as the lead in the dance-heavy spring musical Thoroughly Modern Millie in 2010 also showed her that as a performer, you’re always learning something new.

“I’ve not tap-danced since then, but it’s that aspect of trying something that I didn’t think I could do,” said Ritter. “And taking a risk onstage… that I still do all the time.” 

When it came time for college, she had a choice to make. Medical school was sort of a tradition in her family, and a career in music has its challenges. But, according to Ritter, music “just gets in your blood.”

“I knew that I had to give it a shot, and I had to tell myself that I’d just do it until it didn’t work anymore. Just see what we can make happen. The fact that I have made it work like this is such a big blessing,” she said. 

She went on to attend Belmont University in Nashville where she majored in commercial music. Six weeks after graduating in 2015, life was uncertain. The lease on her apartment was up, her roommates were leaving, and things were at a standstill. That is, until she got a call from Carnival Cruise Lines. 

“They asked ‘Do you want to live on a ship? Sail six nights a week around the Bahamas and get paid every two weeks? I was like... yes,” said Ritter. “My roommate called it an ‘organized adventure.’ I’d get to travel and meet new people, but I was on a schedule, knew when I would get paid, and knew where I needed to be. It was the perfect combination.”

Ahoy, Full-Time Music Career!

When she boarded the boat, Ritter was in for a two-year gig. She worked four hours a night, six nights a week for entertainment-hungry travelers. She sang everything from Motown to disco, from soul to classic rock, gaining the necessary versatility for the career ahead of her.

“It greatly expanded my musical repertoire, but also it banished all stage fright. Because when you have to do it all week, it’s your job,” said Ritter. “When you go to work, you can’t be nervous about it, because this is where you have to be.”

The unfamiliar genres weren’t the only diversity Ritter had to acquaint herself with: as an international company, Carnival hires performers from all over the world. 

“Our guitar player was from England. Our drummer was from Colombia,” said Ritter. “And when you’re working with a Colombian drummer, you’ve got rhythms in there that you would never have if you had an American band full of 20-year-old white boys. That was an opportunity I would’ve never gotten if I hadn’t worked in this niche of a music community.”

She started on a ship in the Bahamas, as promised, but was later assigned to ships on other seas. 

“I was moved to Australia, and got to see all that part of the world, and then they sent me on the Europe ship. I got to go from Barcelona to Athens and back,” said Ritter. “Then we sailed a brand new ship into NYC.”

After her return to the states, Ritter finally felt she had gotten the best of what these itineraries had to offer. She had traveled, explored, and widened her skill set, but was ready to sing her own songs; to become “more of the artist, not just the musician.” 

The Girl In The Pink Hat

Ritter, again, had to decide where she would plant herself. The three contenders were Cape Girardeau, the bustling music city of Nashville, and Florida, where her boyfriend (now husband) Brian Toups called home. She chose the latter; not just for Toups, but for the career possibilities. 

“I knew there was a lot of entertainment on the Gulf Coast, just like on the ship where we’d been playing for people on vacation who wanted to go to the beach, hang out, and listen to music at night,” said Ritter. “It’s really the same thing, but it’s just on land.”

This made for an easy transition. She was hired instantly by a rock band because she knew all of the songs, already had great costumes, and was well-prepared. She booked more clubs and venues as word spread, and eventually evolved back to her solo show. 

“I’m mostly playing my songs on my own, which is really cool. Now I’ve worked up to playing my songs with a full band again,” said Ritter. “It’s kind of a 360-degree morph of the music.”

At the end of July 2018, Ritter unveiled her first full-length album, Coffee Every Morning. It wasn’t too long before strangers started requesting original songs during her sets.

“Maybe they’re a friend of a friend or maybe they actually have heard it on the radio, but it’s really neat to see people I don’t know singing along,” said Ritter. “It’s this once-removed effect of touching people with your music.”

Shortly after the release, Ritter entered one of the album’s songs - Meet Your Mother - in Nash Next, a talent competition offering the chance to land a recording contract and airplay on Cumulus Media affiliate stations. She won the Fort Walton Beach division of the contest, and after another judging round, was one of ten selected from 52 preliminary winners across the country to compete in the live finals in Nashville. 

When it came time for her performance, Ritter said it wasn’t a question of who was going to do great and who was going to mess up; it was about who the label was looking for. 

“Do they want the tough country dude who wears leather jackets and rides motorcycles and smokes cigarettes? Or do they want the little girl who writes love songs and wears lace dresses and pink hats?” said Ritter. “Apparently, they went for the pink-hat girl that night, because we ended up winning the whole thing!”

She signed a deal with Big Machine Records - the label home of big-name stars such as Florida Georgia Line, Rascal Flatts, Brett Young, Brantley Gilbert, Reba McIntire, and Ritter’s idol, Taylor Swift. 

“I should be like “Oh my gosh, I got a record deal,” but what I’m really thinking is ‘I’m on the same label as Taylor Swift!” she said.

This win was the first in a string of many Ritter would experience over the next year. In October 2018, she opened for Easton Corbin, a country music artist she’d once seen perform at the Show-Me-Center in Cape Girardeau as a 17-year-old. In May of this year, she released her first collaborative single with Big Machine called “Nothing But You,” which has since been gathering national radio play. 

In June, she played her biggest show to date when she opened for Hunter Hayes - and a crowd of 10,000 people - at the Pensacola Navy Base. She also made an appearance in Cape Girardeau for the outdoor concert series Tunes at Twilight, and has played countless shows along the Florida panhandle. 

“I can reach so much of the country staying here. It’s like a reverse tour where they come to me instead of me going there,” said Ritter. “That’s the best little niche of this area that wouldn’t happen anywhere else. I can play the same venue six nights a week and everybody in town rotates.”

While the big venues are exciting for her, she still appreciates the small set, the humble lugging of equipment from gig to gig, and the occasional songwriter’s night.

“It’s like when I played the Pensacola Songwriters Festival, and I got to sit and play onstage with people who have written number-one hits for people like Tim McGraw,” she said. “And, you know, the one-hour Jessie shows are what I like best.”

Now, Ritter is looking to expand to places like Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, other cities in Tennessee, and will hopefully make a run through the Carolinas next spring. She currently has a new batch of songs awaiting release, and she can’t wait to share them.

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The daughter of a pediatrician from Poplar Bluff, 2011 graduate Mary Katherine Montgomery has been immersed in the healthcare system from a young age. While she intimately understood the importance of medical delivery, there was one facet she always wanted to explore: access. 


Montgomery, known as ‘MK’ to her friends and family, recently earned her Masters in Public Health (MPH) from Yale. But health education, especially for youth, is where she has found her stride. 


Before starting grad school, Montgomery fulfilled her interest in equity and health disparities while working as a seventh grade science teacher with “Teach For America” in Baton Rouge, LA. Here, she thought a lot about how to achieve long-term, sustainable solutions that would allow kids across the country to thrive. 


“I’ve realized that there’s a whole slew of things that determine outcomes for children. Two of them are education and healthcare,” said Montgomery. “But oftentimes, there are other systemic things that are entrapped with one another, and I was really fascinated by this system.” 


One instance, Montgomery said, was with one of her students originally from New Orleans. He had been displaced to Baton Rouge after Hurricane Katrina, and still had a cleft palate which was never fixed. She said this had impacted his development, growth, and was now affecting his peer interaction. 


“I realized that when his family was displaced from the storm, his entire network of people who are supposed to help you make sure that these things get taken care of, weren’t around,” said Montgomery. “And when that happens, a lot of kids fall through the cracks.” 


She said this was a “tangible example” of when one system breaks. 


“I thought about my students in the classroom, and how getting the highest grade on the next test and things like that were going to be great for them. But in the long term, there were so many systems at play outside of my classroom that they were still going to face, and they would potentially fall through those cracks,” said Montgomery. 


This has caused Montgomery to focus on pushing change and measuring outcomes by intertwining healthcare, law, and education. She hopes that with her understanding of each system, she will be able to show others how to think about them as “interconnected, as opposed to individual pieces.” 


“I’m thinking about how traditionally, when we follow these systems, we get really great at being professionals within those spaces. And we don’t have a lot of folks who can build the bridges between those systems, because they just don’t have the same comprehensive knowledge or understanding of each of those different faceted areas,” said Montgomery. 


In her endeavors, Montgomery recently worked with a group of other MPH candidates and local neonatologist, Dr. Alan Barnett, on an HPV vaccine campaign in the southeast Missouri region. They delivered the project manual, which promotes disease prevention, on June 1. 


Other projects include her work with All Our Kin, a non-profit organization which creates child care programs for vulnerable children. Montgomery has also informed state policy in pediatric care at the Yale Child Center. 


Montgomery is slated to return to school next fall at the Harvard Graduate School of Education to receive another Masters, this time in education, policy and management. 


Career-wise, Montgomery doesn’t have a specific goal. But she’s expressed interest in combining healthcare and education at a local level, and eventually hopes to work with people who are thinking about doing the same on a broader scale across the country. 


Montgomery is also interested in policy, where she said she can make the most change. 


“There’s a lot of opportunity in healthcare and education, and how we set them up in the political arena,” said Montgomery. “Sometimes it looks like government policy, and sometimes it looks like non-governmental organizations like foundations.”

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Congratulations to our 99 graduating seniors! 86% of the 2019 class received academic scholarships in excess of 7 million dollars. 15% achieved Missouri Bright Flight recognition. We had one National Merit Commended Student, one Missouri Top 100 Scholar, and one U.S. Naval Academy Appointment. We can't wait to see what you will do!  Good luck on all your endeavors! 
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Bulldogs at Busch Win

It was a winner on Sunday - Cardinals topped the Reds 5-2 and NDHS prevailed over Collinsville HS 9-6. Even though the weather was a little chilly, it was a fun day to see so many families at Busch Stadium. And the HOT DOGS...!!

THANK YOU to all who purchased tickets and t-shirts! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our student athletes to play at Busch Stadium and it would not be possible without your support. Each successful outing at Busch Stadium allows this tradition to continue for future student athletes.

Go Cardinals - Go Bullodgs!


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2019 Bulldogs at Busch

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Class of 2016 ND graduate Renee Peters came with our Southeast Missouri State University representative Thomas Romine to the junior College Knowledge Night event on March 26th. Renee spoke about how prepared she felt for college after attending Notre Dame as well as her ability to attend the university without incurring student loan debt. She is currently majoring in Agriculture while concurrently completing an accelerated MBA program. We appreciate Renee taking time to talk to our students and parents about her experience, and we are so proud of her continued success! Thank you, Renee and Thomas!

If you have questions about the college search process, please visit the Guidance Office.

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Jake Edwards, Class of 2016, spent a week in Honduras.  Jake contacted Brother David with his thanks and has asked for continued prayers. Thank you, Jake, for all you are doing. We are proud of you!

'The past week I spent in Honduras was truly eye-opening.  We were able to help over 1500 people at our clinics and provide other services for the southern half of the country.  I'm so grateful for the generation donation that you made in my name for this mission.  Lives and hearts were touched this past week, and I cannot thank you enough.  Please continue to pray for an end to the health disparities in Central America and also for those who work to relieve them.
You are in my prayers.
In Christ,


Jake Edwards Honduras 2019
click the image to view more photos
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As an athlete at Notre Dame, John Unterreiner split his time between soccer, basketball, and track.

In soccer, Unterreiner lettered his sophomore, junior, and senior years, respectively 2006, 2007, and 2008. He was a part of two state champion soccer teams in 2006 and 2007. In basketball, he was a part of the 2007-08 Basketball State Championship team.

“We had a very good couple of years across a lot of sports, so it was a lot of fun,” said Unterreiner.

Unterreiner currently holds the Notre Dame record for career assists in soccer. He was also named Academic All State in 2009.

After graduating in 2009, Unterreiner shifted his focus from his athletic career to studying criminal justice. He attended Southeast Missouri State University and received in Bachelors in Criminal Justice in 2013, and went on to receive his Masters in Criminal Justice Administration in 2015.

Unterreiner is now an instructor at Southeast in the criminal justice, social work, and sociology departments. He teaches many classes, including introduction to courts, law enforcement, and juvenile justice. He married Monica Henggeler ’09 and has two sons, Watson & Clark.

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Erika (Reinagel) Westrich was known to be a top-tier athlete during her time at Notre Dame. She participated in several sports -- basketball, track -- but most importantly: softball.

She ran track and field for two years, played basketball for 3 years, and started in centerfield in varsity softball all four years.

Several highlights are streaked across her high school career.

In the Fall of 2007, Westrich set the currently held record for highest batting average of 0.558. Until 2010, Westrich held the record for most hits in a season with 53 hits. As a freshman in 2005, her team set the record for most bases stolen bases as a team.

One of Westrich’s favorite memories took place in 2008 of her senior year.

“It was the semi-final game at state, and we played 14 innings. It was a relief to win,” said Westrich. “We ended up losing the championship game that year, but it was still memorable. I’ll never forget that one.”

In softball, she received all-district honors in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. She received all-region honors in 2005, 2007, and 2008. She a part of the all-state softball team in 2005, 2007, and 2008 as well as part of the team that received SEMO all-conference honors in 2006, 2007, and 2008.

Her athletic achievements continued past her high school graduation in 2009. Westrich went on to play softball for another four years at Central Methodist University (CMU) in Fayette, Missouri. She contributed to teams honored as Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) Champions and received the HAAC Gold Glove award in 2012 and 2013. She was honored as a Softball Scholar Athlete by NAIA Daktronics in 2012 and 2013. In 2017, her 2011-2012 team was inducted into the CMU Hairston Hall of Fame for outstanding accomplishments.

Westrich currently works as a family nurse practitioner at Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau. She has been married to Austin Westrich for three years, and the couple is expecting their first child in May.

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