Helias High School Student Carries on a Legacy

3 years 9 months 3 weeks ago February 10, 2013 Feb 10, 2013 Sunday, February 10 2013 Sunday, February 10, 2013 7:21:00 PM CST in Sports
By: Tom Martin

JEFFERSON CITY- By medical definition, Elijah Mayfield--compared to his peers--is alone.

"They don't have kids who have disabilities, but I do. I have Down's Syndrome, and I am the only student who has Down's syndrome," Mayfield said.

The reason he attends Helias High School is because he wasn't.

"St. Peter's, the Catholic school uptown. He was the 21st person in this classroom. And as those kids matured, they came around full circle and just embraced him," said Todd Mayfield, Elijah's father. "We had always asked at St. Peter's, okay, not being Catholic, what's next? What happens after 8th grade? And from day one, they told us, you know, more than likely, the public schools is your best option, because Helias doesn't have a program. This group of kids, they said 'we'll write letters to Helias.' They felt very strongly and they wanted him to be with them."

Elijah's schoolwork isn't as important as his social surroundings, but both take a backseat behind sports. He manages both the football and basketball teams, and through Down's Syndrome events in St. Louis, he's made a few famous friends such as Tony La Russa, Mike Matheny, David Freese, Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols.

But no one ever caught Elijah's eye or ear like Leon Vanderfeltz, the longtime #1 fan of Helias athletics, known for his famous cheer.

"Everybody referred to Leon as Mr. Helias," said Helias Athletic Director Doug Light. "Just to watch when he would do it, he would just strain so much, just right from deep within him."

"Dad went to the games, and he loved Helias, he loved going to games, he loved supporting the kids," said Annie Mulholland, Leon Vanderfeltz's daughter.

It was February 6th, 2012, when tragedy struck. Vanderfeltz died unexpectedly at the age of 79.

"It just happened. Nobody was expecting it. And it was just kind of a surprise and certainly you're used to seeing him at all the games and all of a sudden he wasn't there. It kind of left a void, I guess," Light said.

A void only one person could fill.

"When Leon was alive, Elijah was already giving the H, and Leon was so excited," said Eddie Mullholland, Vanderfeltz's son-in-law.

"On the sidelines, I'm over by the game, and I yell, 'Give me and H!' and the crowd went crazy. Even my dad went crazy," Mayfield said.

"He has a feel of when the excitement needs to rise," Mulholland said.

"The name Elijah is synonymous with miracles in the Old Testament and all the things that he had done," said Todd Mayfield. "It's just really cool, like it was just meant to be."

"It's a gift. It's a gift and not too many people can do it," Eddie Mulholland said.

"Having Elijah be able to step in and do that is great," Annie Mulholland said, "and I know Dad would love it."

Giving The H from Tom Martin on Vimeo.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Department responded to a person on fire at 3201 Creasy Springs Road, Bear Creek Trail... More >>
20 minutes ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 7:40:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Local groups decorated duffel bags and filled them with presents to donate to children with chronic illnesses this... More >>
33 minutes ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 7:27:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - With temperatures falling into single digits, winter weather has arrived in Columbia. But not everybody has a place... More >>
1 hour ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 6:49:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – Drivers should think about checking their headlights because the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announced headlights were... More >>
1 hour ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 6:46:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's Republican Gov.-elect Eric Greitens spent more on his campaign than what's been spent total on... More >>
1 hour ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 6:06:55 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two men have pleaded guilty to the $2 million robbery of an armored car, an inside... More >>
2 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 5:17:47 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — T he Missouri Supreme Court has struck down a law that denies bail to criminal defendants... More >>
2 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 5:12:55 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Colleges that expel students whom they suspect of sexual assault are being asked to specify the... More >>
2 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 5:08:29 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A suburban St. Louis man has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison for... More >>
2 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 5:05:21 PM CST in News
ROLLA (AP) — A building at Missouri S&T was evacuated after a fire broke out on the building's roof. ... More >>
2 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 5:03:30 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Healthcare has not changed since the election and experts say there is no need for people to think... More >>
4 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 3:22:48 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is investigating a string of five vehicle break-ins at three different fitness centers around... More >>
5 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 2:45:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Tobacco Free Missouri Youth (TFMY) gathered in the capitol Thursday to raise awareness for its campaign to... More >>
5 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 2:16:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but for families living below the poverty line, the holiday... More >>
6 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 1:56:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA- As of Thursday morning, MU is advising all students who have not contracted the mumps to receive a third... More >>
6 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 1:39:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — An appeals court says a man serving a 260-year sentence in a Kansas child pornography case... More >>
8 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 11:54:49 AM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Wealthy donors gave about $2 million to candidates on the final day of unlimited political giving... More >>
9 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 10:38:36 AM CST in News
ROACH, Mo. (AP) — Missouri authorities say a man was killed in central Missouri when an unoccupied pickup truck rolled... More >>
10 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 9:10:10 AM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 22°
8pm 21°
9pm 20°
10pm 21°
11pm 18°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:20p
Thursday Night Football
10:30p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
11:05p
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
7:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW

Tonight's Schedule

6:30p
Football Night in America
7:20p
Thursday Night Football
7:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld