This week we travel back 32 years to find our “Where Are They Now?” athlete. Mandy Catoe was one of the best female athletes for the Lady Eagles playing volleyball three years and softball four years. She was named team MVP in softball in 1979 and all-conference in 1980.
She is the daughter of Bobbie Catoe and the late Yancy Catoe Jr. She graduated from Central High School in 1980 in the top 15 percent of her class. After high school graduation, she attended Winthrop University and graduated magna cum laude in 1983 with a degree in Psychology and English. She is currently employed as the training coordinator at the Chester-Lancaster Board of Disabilities where she has been since 1998. She also works part time as an admitting clerk at Springs Memorial Hospital in Lancaster.
“The MVP award meant the most to me as a player because my teammates voted to honor me with this award,” Catoe said as she shared her memories playing for the Lady Eagles. “My daddy drove the team bus during those high school years. He was a trooper.”
Catoe was a multi-sport athlete, but said she had a favorite.
“I played volleyball and softball at Central, but softball was my first love,” she said. “I learned more on the field with my teammates than I ever learned in class. I don’t recall who sat next to me in Algebra, but I remain friends over 30 years later with over half of my Central softball team. Much of who I am I owe to softball. In life, as in sports, you play like you practice. I always gave 100 percent.”
Catoe said she still loves to be active.
“I have remained an athlete. I love cycling and have raised a lot of money for multiple sclerosis through the MS bike rides. Currently, I start every morning with yoga and go to the gym four or five times a week where I do cardio and resistance training,” she said. “Sports was where I learned to believe in myself and it meant a lot to me as a teenager to enjoy the small-town fame that came from seeing my name and stats in the weekly paper.”
Catoe’s former coach Barbara Maier said she was memorable.
“It would be hard to forget Mandy even though it has been over 30 years. She was the heart and soul of our team. She was a pleasure to coach always giving a hundred percent and encouraging her teammates to do the same,” Maier said. “She was a great team leader. Mandy was an outstanding athlete in both softball and volleyball.”
CHS Athletic Director Joey Mangum agreed.
“Mandy is one of the best softball players to play at Central and was also a good volleyball player,” he said. “She was just a good all-around athlete who led the team by example.”
Catoe lives in Lancaster with her son, Daniel Rollins and life partner, Lana Stover. She wore the number 9 in both sports her entire high school career.