Senior Spotlight: Shawnee Mission East’s Eli McDonald

Shawnee Mission East senior Eli McDonald.
Shawnee Mission East senior Eli McDonald.

The four F’s are important to Eli McDonald: Family, faith, football and food.

The Shawnee Mission East senior, who his friends call the Food Hawk, won’t back down from a food challenge from friends as he estimates he eats 3,000-4,000 calories a day.

His friends haven’t asked him to eat anything weird, but they want to see if he can eat things in one bite.

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Bio Blast

Eli McDonald
School: SM East
Sport: Football
College: Leaning toward Kansas State, majoring in special education
Accomplishments: Three-year starter, Captain (2016), SFL HM (2015)[/pullquote]

“A while ago I ate six Hostess donuts in one bite, just a sleeve,” McDonald said. “It took me a while, but I did it.”

He’ll eat anything and everything and there isn’t much McDonald doesn’t like except for cauliflower.

“I haven’t gained a pound within the year, which is kind of weird,” McDonald said.

His favorite meal is by his mom and it’s a quinoa, chicken, and bean casserole and he’ll put sour cream and cheese on top and eats with chips.

When he was younger, he thought about becoming a chef.

“One of my favorite numbers is 26 — I was born June 26,” McDonald said. “I was thinking about opening up a restaurant called Eli’s 26 Cheese Quesadilla Factory.

“It’d be an eating challenge with (a quesadilla) with 26 different cheeses. I was a goofy kid.”

But he’s put that dream behind him and is leaning toward attending Kansas State and majoring in special education.

What’s inspired him to pursue that career path are his coaches and teachers. He’s seen them teach with such a passion and they can pour their lives into their students and mold them into better people.

McDonald is heavily involved with Kansas City KLife, which is a branch of Kanakuk Kamps. He’ll teach a seventh grade bible study, and then helps out with the youth ministry at his church.

“This last summer was my last year as a camper and was nominated for a leadership role,” McDonald said. “A lot of the counselors all wanted me to come back to counsel with them.”