Whether he was managing the dining hall or announcing volleyball or basketball games, Gene Meiser has made an impact on hundreds of students and colleagues at Eastern Mennonite School.
On Wednesday evening, Feb. 9, 2022, Meiser called his last varsity boys basketball game, a thriller EMS victory over Shenandoah Valley Academy, ending in a 62-59 win in overtime. His voice choked up momentarily as he announced the players at the beginning of the game.
“It is safe to say that Gene has witnessed the most games in this gym, by far,” Andrew Gascho, athletic director, said as he led a short recognition at the beginning of the game. “He has seen big wins, close losses, five-set thrillers, overtime nail biters… But more than these wins and losses, he has had a front row seat to see the growth and development of our EMS athletes.”
In his front row seat, Meiser witnessed inexperienced middle school athletes mature into dominant varsity players, and, more importantly, continued Gsacho, “into young women and young men who will use lessons they have learned in athletics to make the world a better place.”
“Thank you for serving Christ through athletics here at EMS,” Gascho said. “Thank you for 30 years of afternoons and evenings, being part of the game day experience where lifetime memories have been made. This gym won’t be quite the same without your voice coming over the speakers.”
Shannon Roth, government and US history teacher, EMS class of ’03, remembered Meiser in another role, dining services manager. ” I remember his ‘Meiser Burgers’ fondly,” she wrote. “He took time to get to know students and affirm them in their gifts. Even to this day, every time I see Gene he asks how I am doing. His work announcing for sports truly is a gift he has given from his heart for years and years!”
“I remember growing up listening to it [Gene’s voice] as I watched cousins play basketball,” wrote Leah Wenger ’16 on a school post about the upcoming recognition. “… and feeling the thrill of finally hearing my own name in that voice during my years of volleyball. Your commitment has left an impact on so many student-athletes. Thank you.”
Gene moves on to a role with RMC Events, which will not give him the flexibility needed to cover EMS athletics. The school hopes to see him back in the stands as a lifelong Flames fan.