Remembering the Legend: Jeannie Pierce

Published 5:07 pm Monday, December 19, 2022

BY C.Y. Peters
Jeannie Pierce, an Unaka softball and basketball player who went on to be a referee in several sports. “She always did a good job and gave it her best; you never really saw her without a smile on her face.”    Jeannie played basketball all four years in high school from 1984-1987.  She always credits Coach Don Parkey for working with her on her shooting.  In 1986 she entered the starting line-up along with Marsha Taylor,  Stephanie (Hardin) Ensor, Lisa and Angie Peters, Robin Ensor and Tracey Shoun.”  Unaka had a good team, going to the sub-state in both her freshman and sophomore years. Pierce also played softball during her freshman, sophomore and junior years. She was the catcher in her junior year.  She started work at Long John Silvers and didn’t play her senior softball season. Jeannie did get a partial scholarship to Milligan College to play basketball, where the highlight of that short-lived experience was when she scored 18 points to help her team win an important game.  She was asked to come back to Unaka Elementary by Coach Parkey to help coach, which she really loved to do.  She stayed on the coaching staff for three years.  They won all the District and Regional Tournaments, going one season undefeated, and losing only one game the following year. Jeannie began officiating basketball and was an umpire in softball and baseball and looked forward to calling games. Pierce was an official for nearly twelve years before her health caused her to retire. After Jeannie finished her first year, she worked in tournaments every year and even worked some college JV games.  She truly loved her daughter Bredgitte, who accompanied her to many games at a very young age. Jeannie was a member of Moores Chapel Free Will Baptist Church. She passed away on Sunday, December 19, 2021.

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