FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Mya is an 8th grader at West Fairmont Middle School who began special needs cheerleading five years ago. Mya put a uniform on for the Cubs for the first time last basketball season following in her older sister, Sydnee Boyles, footsteps.
Mya has down syndrome and despite what make her different from everyone else, she has pushed herself harder than others, and thrived on the sidelines for both basketball and football games.
“We have a choreographer who comes in, and yesterday when he came in he said do you think you’re going to need to go out there and help her a little bit. All I said was she’s about to knock your socks off,” said Head Coach Kristen Wilson.
Mya’s mother Cassandra Sevier said Coach Wilson has played the biggest part in pushing her to reach her full potential as an athlete.
“We have always set goals for our kids and we always want them to achieve them, so for Mya to be a part of this, and for the community to embrace it, and the cheer coach to put in that time with her, we’re just so appreciative of that,” said Sevier. “Its a joy to see them all down there, especially our kid.”
Teammates always have each others back, and Coach Wilson said Mya is one of the girls, no matter what she looks like.
“I just think it sets a good example for folks, so they can see kids can do anything. Whether it be somebody with down syndrome, or if somebodies just a little bit slower, or not as athletically impounded,” said Sevier. “They can do anything, and to see her overcome obstacles that other people think they can’t achieve its heart warming. I mean it’s tear jerking, it’s a very, very proud moment for us.”
Mya’s journey has in no way been a breeze, and she may have to continue to overcome challenges, but Mya’s family hopes she continues to cheer in high school next year because her journey shows that sports are more than just a game.
“Mya’s a living testimony, truly, that you can do anything if you put your mind to,” said Head Coach Kristen Wilson. “She has far exceeded the expectations that I’ve ever set for her. I think that’s an inspiration to not only young girls Mya’s age, but to everybody. If you have a dream go out there and pursue it, because you never know what you can do once you put your mind to it.”
For more information on Down Syndrome, you can read more here.