The final hurrah

Senior cheerleaders perform for final time during Sub-State basketball

Senior+captains+Lexi+Marshall%2C+Aylin+Rocha%2C+Zekkiah+Hird+and+Ellie+Fowks+pose+for+a+photo+prior+to+cheering+at+a+home+football+game+against+Basehor-Linwood+on+Oct.+5.
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The final hurrah

Senior captains Lexi Marshall, Aylin Rocha, Zekkiah Hird and Ellie Fowks pose for a photo prior to cheering at a home football game against Basehor-Linwood on Oct. 5.

Senior captains Lexi Marshall, Aylin Rocha, Zekkiah Hird and Ellie Fowks pose for a photo prior to cheering at a home football game against Basehor-Linwood on Oct. 5.

Wildcat Photo

Senior captains Lexi Marshall, Aylin Rocha, Zekkiah Hird and Ellie Fowks pose for a photo prior to cheering at a home football game against Basehor-Linwood on Oct. 5.

Wildcat Photo

Wildcat Photo

Senior captains Lexi Marshall, Aylin Rocha, Zekkiah Hird and Ellie Fowks pose for a photo prior to cheering at a home football game against Basehor-Linwood on Oct. 5.

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As both the girls’ and boys’ basketball teams concluded their seasons by falling in their respective Sub-State brackets, another DHS team was also taking the floor for the final time this season. For many cheerleaders, the experience of cheering for the final time with the seniors they had grown close with was very emotional.

“It was just really hard because I’ve grown to be really close to … all of them, so it’s just really hard to think about not doing a sport with them and not participating in anything with them or not going to school with them,” junior cheerleader Angelina Capelo said.

Senior cheerleading captains Aylin Rocha and Lexi Marshall cheered on the boys’ basketball team during their loss to Bonner Springs on Feb. 28 while captains Zekkiah Hird and Ellie Fowks cheered during the girls’ basketball loss against Topeka Seaman the next night. Since cheer does not perform during any spring sporting events, these two games served as the seniors’ farewell tours.

“It’s bittersweet. Like it depends, sometimes you’re ready to leave and sometimes you’re not,” Hird said. “Just looking back on the whole thing, it’s like been fun, but I’m ready to move on.”

Hird’s dance and music expertise will be missed as much as the camaraderie and friendship he brought to the team during the past four years.

““I’m pretty sure the dances and music aren’t going to be as good next year because Zekkiah was the one who choreographed all of our dances and he remixed all the music,” Capelo added.

Hird, who has been the sole male cheerleader on the roster this year and is currently considering cheering at the collegiate level, has been an inspiration to cheer youth, male and female alike during his time at DHS.

“Zekkiah has fans. We had a showcase Monday and a ton of the LT [Lexington Trail Middle School] girls wanted to find him and get his autograph,” Rocha recalled. “At one of the freshman nights, there was a mom that came up to us and she was like, ‘isn’t there a boy on the team? We want our son to be on the team.’”

While replacing the leadership and talent of the four leaders will be a difficult task, many current juniors are planning to step up in hopes of attaining the vacated captainships.

“There’s a lot of juniors on the team this year, and … I heard that there’s going to be a lot of people who’ve never done cheer before who are going to try out,” Capelo said.

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