Helias High School Student Carries on a Legacy

3 years 11 months 1 week 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
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that Ameren Missouri's coal-fired power plant near St. Louis violates the... More >>
7 minutes ago January 24, 2017 Jan 24, 2017 Tuesday, January 24 2017 Tuesday, January 24, 2017 11:14:00 AM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Chief Justice Patricia Breckenridge is calling for a review of the way courts hold people... More >>
11 minutes ago January 24, 2017 Jan 24, 2017 Tuesday, January 24 2017 Tuesday, January 24, 2017 11:10:00 AM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Rep. Mike Moon, R-Ash Grove, proposed legislation Wednesday that would completely ban abortions in Missouri. According... More >>
19 minutes ago January 24, 2017 Jan 24, 2017 Tuesday, January 24 2017 Tuesday, January 24, 2017 11:02:00 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A court testimony reveals that a drug debt to a St. Louis entrepreneur and his associates... More >>
1 hour ago January 24, 2017 Jan 24, 2017 Tuesday, January 24 2017 Tuesday, January 24, 2017 10:21:00 AM CST in News
CLAYTON (AP) — A St. Louis County man who hit himself in the head with frying pans has died after... More >>
1 hour ago January 24, 2017 Jan 24, 2017 Tuesday, January 24 2017 Tuesday, January 24, 2017 9:45:00 AM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities say officers shot and killed one man and wounded another after a police chase in... More >>
1 hour ago January 24, 2017 Jan 24, 2017 Tuesday, January 24 2017 Tuesday, January 24, 2017 9:22:00 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — All seven members of a St. Louis family are hospitalized in critical condition after a house... More >>
2 hours ago January 24, 2017 Jan 24, 2017 Tuesday, January 24 2017 Tuesday, January 24, 2017 9:20:00 AM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Relatives searching for a missing woman have found the decomposed body of man in a Kansas... More >>
2 hours ago January 24, 2017 Jan 24, 2017 Tuesday, January 24 2017 Tuesday, January 24, 2017 9:19:00 AM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities say a 24-year-old Kansas City man has pleaded guilty in the shooting death of his... More >>
2 hours ago January 24, 2017 Jan 24, 2017 Tuesday, January 24 2017 Tuesday, January 24, 2017 9:16:00 AM CST in News
CLAYTON (AP) — A man has been sentenced to five years of probation for his drunken role in a suburban... More >>
2 hours ago January 24, 2017 Jan 24, 2017 Tuesday, January 24 2017 Tuesday, January 24, 2017 9:12:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department said it arrested two armed robbery suspects Monday. Detectives said they arrested 26-year-old... More >>
12 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 10:40:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department has made an arrest in connection to a shooting in north Columbia Monday evening,... More >>
14 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 8:47:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA- A recent study from researchers at the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University show sedentary... More >>
15 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 7:39:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 70-year-old man who told investigators after robbing a Kansas bank that he'd rather be... More >>
16 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 7:15:01 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's new Republican secretary of state has been defending his decision to appoint a securities industry... More >>
16 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 7:08:05 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia is looking to improve its apartment recycling program. The program provides recycling containers, which... More >>
16 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 6:39:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Legislation regarding the safety of Missouri law enforcement officers and first responders continues to be a hot... More >>
17 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 5:40:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A twin-engine Beechcraft Baron aircraft had a crash landing on Monday afternoon at Columbia Regional Airport. The... More >>
18 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 4:38:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 42°
12pm 46°
1pm 48°
2pm 50°
3pm 51°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
12:30p
Inside Edition
11:00a
Jerry Springer
12:00p
Jerry Springer
1:00p
Maury

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Wall
8:00p
This Is Us
9:00p
Chicago Fire
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld