From Huntersville to a hall of fame
by Staff Writer
Maybe now they’ll believe Mom.
Cindy Behe, a former standout softball pitcher at North Mecklenburg High, said one of the best parts of being inducted into a hall of fame was having her children in the audience and old enough to understand the honor.
Behe – she was Cindy Irvin as a high-schooler – was enshrined in the Wingate University Sports Hall of Fame last fall. She was named to the 1994 GTE Academic All-America softball team, the first Wingate athlete to earn the honor.
“To have my kids there and hear nice things people were saying about me, and what professors said, I think they were impressed,” Behe said, with a laugh. “As a parent, you try to be a good role model. My goal was to be a good student. It was a great day.”
Behe earned academic All-American and All-South Atlantic Conference honors twice. She batted better than .400 as a junior and senior and struck out only three times in those seasons combined. Behe, a centerfielder, was a two-year captain and led Wingate to its first SAC softball championship.
Behe left the Huntersville area but hasn’t left softball. She lives in High Point, where she works for a bio-technical drug research company.
After Wingate, she played softball on a competitive club team in graduate school, then on a travel team for 10 years. That squad won two American Softball Association national championships in 2001 and 2005.
Family duties eventually cut into Behe’s softball time, and she became more involved in her children playing sports. Her kids are now ages 9 to 11. Her current slate is a weekly game in a local women’s league.
“I’ve gone from softball player to shuttle bus driver for the kids,” she said.
Her parents and several relatives have lived in Huntersville for decades, Behe said. She’s amazed at how much the area has changed from when she was a three-sport star (basketball, tennis and softball) at North Mecklenburg High.
“The school was a lot smaller when I was there,” she said. “The town was, too. I remember many days shooting baskets in the (school) gym. Every time I go back, I can’t believe how fast the area has grown.”
Behe said the lessons she learned as a Viking athlete have carried into adult life.
“Athletics really give you a sense of teamwork and working with individuals who may not work the same way you do,” she said. “But you have a common goal. You learn that from sports, and it can really flow into other parts of your life. You can use it to work out personal problems or use it in a work atmosphere.
“Most of us aren’t going to be pro athletes. The rest of us hopefully use what we’ve learned to lead to a (college) degree and a job. Sports in that way was a good stepping stone.”