Helias High School Student Carries on a Legacy

4 years 6 months 1 week ago Sunday, February 10 2013 Feb 10, 2013 Sunday, February 10, 2013 7:21:00 PM CST February 10, 2013 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
The Powerball jackpot climbs to $700 million, giving players a chance to dream of winning the second-largest lottery prize in... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 8:13:00 AM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
STEPHENS - Boone County Pay It Forward , a popular local Facebook group, will host its Basic Needs Fundraiser at... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, August 23 2017 Aug 23, 2017 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 8:09:00 AM CDT August 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Gov. Eric Greitens' surprising decision Tuesday to stay the execution of Marcellus Williams put a spotlight on executions... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, August 22 2017 Aug 22, 2017 Tuesday, August 22, 2017 7:26:00 PM CDT August 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - In an era in which brick and mortar retail stores are falling by the wayside, Columbia's I-70 Business... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, August 22 2017 Aug 22, 2017 Tuesday, August 22, 2017 7:22:00 PM CDT August 22, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Republican Gov. Eric Greitens is holding a question-and-answer session on Facebook. The governor will... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, August 22 2017 Aug 22, 2017 Tuesday, August 22, 2017 7:17:00 PM CDT August 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – The Missouri Poison Center said snake bites are up this year compared to last. From January to June... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, August 22 2017 Aug 22, 2017 Tuesday, August 22, 2017 7:10:00 PM CDT August 22, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A dozen protestors dropped off a petition with 200,000 signatures to Gov. Eric Greitens' office Tuesday urging... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, August 22 2017 Aug 22, 2017 Tuesday, August 22, 2017 7:00:00 PM CDT August 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival teamed up with Columbia Parks and Recreation to provide free tickets... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, August 22 2017 Aug 22, 2017 Tuesday, August 22, 2017 6:55:00 PM CDT August 22, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Lt. Gov. Mike Parson called on the Missouri Senate to go into a special session with the... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, August 22 2017 Aug 22, 2017 Tuesday, August 22, 2017 6:04:00 PM CDT August 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The District Downtown Columbia had decided to give people the chance to remember the total eclipse forever. Anyone... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, August 22 2017 Aug 22, 2017 Tuesday, August 22, 2017 5:02:00 PM CDT August 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – School is back in session for Columbia students, but some school districts across the country are struggling with... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, August 22 2017 Aug 22, 2017 Tuesday, August 22, 2017 4:57:00 PM CDT August 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Commission issued abatements for three Boone County properties Tuesday. One property is located on... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, August 22 2017 Aug 22, 2017 Tuesday, August 22, 2017 3:55:00 PM CDT August 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - As part of Columbia City Manager Mike Matthes’ proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, paratransit rides will... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, August 22 2017 Aug 22, 2017 Tuesday, August 22, 2017 3:43:00 PM CDT August 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - U.S. Representative Vicky Hartzler visited the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital Tuesday to talk to local veterans.... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, August 22 2017 Aug 22, 2017 Tuesday, August 22, 2017 3:13:00 PM CDT August 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - A national organization doesn't want people to trash their special glasses from Monday's eclipse. Astronomers Without Borders... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, August 22 2017 Aug 22, 2017 Tuesday, August 22, 2017 2:29:00 PM CDT August 22, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri lawmaker who temporarily posted a social media remark hoping for President Donald Trump's assassination... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, August 22 2017 Aug 22, 2017 Tuesday, August 22, 2017 2:26:00 PM CDT August 22, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — The family of a 15-year-old who was incarcerated for three weeks despite dash cam video proving... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, August 22 2017 Aug 22, 2017 Tuesday, August 22, 2017 1:27:00 PM CDT August 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Vice President of Human Resources for the UM System, Jill Pollock, has resigned, according to the University... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, August 22 2017 Aug 22, 2017 Tuesday, August 22, 2017 12:56:00 PM CDT August 22, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 71°
11am 71°
12pm 73°
1pm 76°
2pm 77°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
10:00a
Jerry Springer
11:00a
Jerry Springer
12:00p
Jerry Springer

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
8:01p
Marlon
8:30p
Marlon
9:00p
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld