Cheerleader with Down syndrome "heart and soul" of Mexico squad

3 years 9 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, September 04 2014 Sep 4, 2014 Thursday, September 04, 2014 1:11:00 PM CDT September 04, 2014 in Friday Night Fever
By: Tyler Greever, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter
loading

MEXICO - Mexico High School head cheerleading coach Linda Malott says she noticed it when she first watched Kelsay Hobbs cheer.

"It was her smile and her spirit," Malott said. "She just had this wonderful, cheerful way of cheering on a crowd."

Hobbs is an 18-year-old senior at Mexico High School. When she was born, she was immediately diagnosed with Down syndrome. But her parents said this wasn't the only obstacle she's had to overcome.

"We struggled for three years with an ASD (Atrial Septal Defect), which is a condition of the heart," her mother, Carolyn Hobbs, said. 

"She was born with a hole in her heart and we went to one of the best people once again at the university," her father,Steve Hobbs, said. "He said if we're lucky, that hole will close by her fourth birthday and we won't have to do surgery, and it did."

As Kelsay grew up, she began to love watching football with her dad, and sports in general. Then it started to develop into something else.

"Eventually it evolved into sitting with the cheerleaders every day at lunch in school," Steve Hobbs said. "She would come in here and then we should start kicking and touching her foot, her toe with her hand."

Carolyn Hobbs said Malott got her first look at Kelsay when she cheered with other members of Special Olympics. 

"They had six cheerleaders at a football game last year," Carolyn Hobbs said. "And they cheered for one quarter and I thought that was really cool and thought it was going to be the end."

Malott was immediately impressed and says Kelsay was something special.

"She loves to cheer. When I was watching her during special needs, she was just amazing," Malott said. 

Malott told Carolyn Hobbs she would like to see her daughter come out for the varsity cheerleading team. Kelsay tried out and made it.

"I'm not sure she could believe me," Carolyn Hobbs said. "Every day, 'Mom, cheerleader? Mom, cheerleader?' And now that she is, when we meet someone, she'll say, 'Mom, cheerleader.' She wants me to tell everyone she's a cheerleader, so she's very proud."

Malott and the other cheerleaders now can't imagine the squad without Kelsay.

"Kelsay is the heart and soul of this squad," Malott said. "She keeps everybody motivated and upbeat, if we have a bad day she puts us all in a good mood. She keeps us unified."

Cheerleading captain Grace Runge said, "Kelsay has brought a lot of joy to this squad. She is the smile on our faces. Even before she was a cheerleader, she was always cheering at the games, she was always kicking at the pep rallies."

But the spirit doesn't stop with cheer leading for Kelsay. She engages in multiple activities when she's at home, including rock collecting, playing basketball, bike riding, and helping take care of the family pets. 

Her parents said she's enjoying every minute of her life, and they could not be prouder. 

"It's very exciting, I take my phone and just about record every single cheer," Carolyn Hobbs said.

Steve Hobbs said, "I'm extremely proud for her because she works hard and she practices all the time."

 

More News

Grid
List
CAMDEN COUNTY - Two teenage boys suffered serious injuries in an ATV accident Friday night, according to the Missouri State... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 9:34:00 AM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A national gathering in St. Louis in September will focus on election security. Missouri... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 7:54:00 AM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 30-year-old inmate was charged Friday with capital murder in the shooting deaths of... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 8:41:21 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE – Police said a technician at a local gas station found an internal skimmer device inside a gas pump... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 4:49:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A Fulton man could face more than 200 years in prison after being found guilty of 12... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 4:01:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The U.S. House passed the 2018 farm bill, formally known as the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 3:49:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
FULTON - Despite rainfall these past two days, statistics show most of Missouri is dryer than usual. Data released... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 3:37:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
HUNTSVILLE – The sentencing phase of the trial for a convicted murderer began Friday. Jeffrey Nichols was convicted Thursday... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 3:15:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Graduate students at the University of Missouri celebrated Thursday after they were officially considered employees, but the celebration... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 2:32:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU has faced big challenges in recent years - from changes in administration to loss of state funding... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 1:43:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY - The Kansas City Police Department has canceled an Amber Alert for Brajean Sledge, a missing 15-year-old girl... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 10:29:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
McALLEN, Texas (AP) — Immigration enforcement on the U.S.-Mexico border was plunged deeper into chaos over President Donald Trump's... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 7:52:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Mike Parson signed his first five bills as Missouri's governor Friday. The bills he signed... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 7:17:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- More than 30 children attending a summer camp in Florida were taken to the hospital Thursday after they... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 7:12:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
MORGAN COUNTY - Authorities said a Gravois Mills woman died in a one-vehicle car accident near Laurie, Missouri. According... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 6:32:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A statewide campaign encourages expecting mothers to monitor their infant's movement in the womb. The Missouri... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 4:14:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD - After months of tension between citizens and city officials, the city council met for the first time... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 9:30:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
AUXVASSE - Police in Auxvasse posted a warning on Facebook Wednesday about unlicensed salesmen in the area, but the company... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:15:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 77°
1pm 78°
2pm 79°
3pm 79°
4pm 81°