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

3 years 3 months 1 week 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
COLUMBIA - Power was restored to 1,922 Columbia customers, according to Columbia Water & Light. The outage affected customers... More >>
4 hours ago Sunday, December 17 2017 Dec 17, 2017 Sunday, December 17, 2017 10:35:00 PM CST December 17, 2017 in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — A Cape Girardeau man will likely spend the rest of his life in prison for shooting... More >>
7 hours ago Sunday, December 17 2017 Dec 17, 2017 Sunday, December 17, 2017 8:00:30 PM CST December 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Three years after picking up a disc for the first time, Cynthia Riccotti is thriving in her quest... More >>
8 hours ago Sunday, December 17 2017 Dec 17, 2017 Sunday, December 17, 2017 6:25:00 PM CST December 17, 2017 in News
TIPTON - A family is trying to recover after losing everything in a house fire, and with help from the... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, December 17 2017 Dec 17, 2017 Sunday, December 17, 2017 5:20:00 PM CST December 17, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - A boil advisory is in affect for Water Supply District No. 10 in Boone County. According... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, December 17 2017 Dec 17, 2017 Sunday, December 17, 2017 5:18:00 PM CST December 17, 2017 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - A Kansas City woman has been arrested in connection with a fatal car crash in Camden County... More >>
10 hours ago Sunday, December 17 2017 Dec 17, 2017 Sunday, December 17, 2017 4:48:00 PM CST December 17, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Area educators are opening up the topic of teen suicide for discussion after seeing deaths rise... More >>
11 hours ago Sunday, December 17 2017 Dec 17, 2017 Sunday, December 17, 2017 4:07:00 PM CST December 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The first ever "Christmas Countdown" Sunday is giving Jefferson City an opportunity for some last minute Christmas... More >>
17 hours ago Sunday, December 17 2017 Dec 17, 2017 Sunday, December 17, 2017 9:21:00 AM CST December 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — Police say they have arrested a man charged in an August quadruple homicide that occurred in... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 11:15:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD - A two-vehicle car wreck Saturday left one dead and two others injured, according to the Missouri State... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 8:15:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - An event in Columbia today addressed the prevalence of gun violence and misuse of firearms by offering gift... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 8:04:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – A six-year-old held a hot chocolate stand Saturday outside of a Hy-Vee in Jefferson City to help two... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 6:51:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Wyss Medical Foundation donated $2 million to the Missouri Orthapaedic Institute for the work of lead orthopaedic... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 5:05:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - On Friday, the Columbia Police Department inducted eight new recruits, the largest class of officers in years. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 4:03:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – A new roundabout may be coming to Columbia on one intersection that may cause drivers trouble. The... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 3:55:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
JACKSONVILLE - An estimated 400 people attended a wreath laying ceremony Saturday at the Jacksonville State Veterans Cemetery. It... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 3:31:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Graduation day is long awaited by many and Amy Kiso Bledsoe is no exception. Bledsoe was... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 2:47:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — As Missouri struggles with the epidemic of opioid abuse, no place in the state has been... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 1:10:14 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 44°
4am 44°
5am 44°
6am 42°
7am 41°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

3:00a
Early Today
3:30a
Early Today
4:00a
Early Today
3:00a
Paid Program
3:30a
Paid Program
4:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
9:01p
Ellen's Game of Games
7:00p
Popstar's Best of 2017
8:00p
The Hollywood Walk of Fame Honors 2017
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld